The aches are back! (But at least I can walk this year!)
Sunday, November 8th 2015.
My fourth Wolf Run and my favourite course out of the two. This year I’ve managed to run all the “seasons” apart from the Autumn, which sold out ridiculously quickly! In the Summer, I ran at Stanford Hall and found a strangely muddy course, more so than the Winter Run the year before. For this run I expected there to be lots of mud but maybe not quite as much as the Summer due to the cooler temperatures. Unfortunately the warm October and the wet start to November totally destroyed that idea. I was in for a mud bath!
Yet again, I haven’t done any running training, with the only exercise being my cycling, never the less, I was fairly confident. It was warm (base layers probably weren’t needed…) and although it was threatening rain, nothing fell from the sky. A four Weetabix breakfast, a couple of coffees and a few chocolate flapjacks and I was ready to run.
The organisers switched things up a bit this time round by reversing the course. Usually the slippy, muddy woodland section is at the start and being full of energy I can normally skip over the rough ground without a problem. The reverse course was different. By the time I hit that final section I was drained and could barely summon up the energy for a fast walk.
The course started with the swims. Now I haven’t swam in years, over 10 years, so I always avoid the first proper swim. It’s probably all psychological but with the shock from the cold water I’m convinced I’d never make it to the other side. A couple of hay bail obstacles lay before the second “swim” which were easily scaled. This “swim” is a bit deceiving. You can actually walk through it, although the water does come high up on my chest. The water was cold, but not as cold as 2014, it didn’t take my breath away nearly as much as it did the year before. The organisers had thrown something new in here too… A giant float across the river. A quick dip in the water to get underneath it doesn’t seem like much but I was seriously considering turning back and running around that section. I didn’t back down though. Although it was only a quick dive under, I really had no idea where I was or how far I’d travelled. Breaking the surface, clear of the float felt good! My GoPro didn’t like the sudden drop in temperature though and after that it really began to fog up.
The rest of the course was pretty straight forward. The usual obstacles were dotted around in different locations. I cleared the monkey bars without too much trouble, climbed the walls (having to ditch my gloves on a couple of occasions), balanced over the log walks where most were crawling and dived as hard as I could down the slide. The only obstacles that I despise is one I haven’t included in the video. It’s a big structure, with smooth telegraph poles positioned horizontally on different levels. The aim is obviously to step / jump from one to another but with the ground conditions each pole gets ridiculously slippy. Combine that with my lack of flexibility and it means I have to cling to the metal frame at the edge to even have a hope of making it across.
As for the mud, well, it was intense! The main bog seemed to have grown in size and was causing a massive bottle neck. Some brave folks were trying to get through the middle but the mud was so thick and deep (up to their waists) that they were simply getting stuck. Runners were trying to get around the edges in the shallow areas and climbing over any tree they could. I stopped for a while to help out and drag some runners free from the mud. The first guy you’ll see in the video was really tough to pull free. He was up to his waist and the amount of force I was having to put in, felt like I was about to dislocate his shoulder. I eventually got him free with the help of a fellow runner who was stuck in the mud but it wasn’t easy. One poor women to the left needed the help of 6 or so runners to dig her out and pull her free.
The mud just sucks your energy. That’s definitely what killed my energy levels and made the whole course a challenge. I’ve washed my clothes off today and my shorts and shoes were completely brown, caked in mud. I wouldn’t change it for the world 😉
It wasn’t a quick run for us. The bottlenecks we encountered and stopping to help at the bog slowed us down a lot. One of the runners I was with was also carrying an injury (and picked up another during the run) and despite his appeals for us to just run on we couldn’t leave him. It took us nearly 2.5 hours to cover just 10kM. I think the fastest runners I went with did the course in nearly 45 minutes quicker and the quickest of the weekend ran the course in under 50 minutes (We’re quite curious how that time was so fast with all the obstacles…). Despite the slow timing I had a great time. It’s a great day out and I have a laugh.
There aren’t any pictures out just yet but as soon as they’re out I’ll post some. Thanks to all the event organisers and marshalls! It was a great year of events. I’ll be back for 2016 to run all four and become an Alpha Wolf!
Knee brace on, lets see how long it lasts.
High Five – Because we’re a friendly bunch.
I See An Opportunity – A small uphill section is coming up so the chance to get a tow off the bus was welcome. Unfortunately the knee didn’t like it and started screaming at me when I hit 30mph or so.
Wave Him By – I see no point in holding the bus up. If I carry on riding in front, the bus struggles to get by and traffic gets held up. If I stop and let him by everything flows a bit easier. Common sense. Bus driver said thanks too.
Could Go Faster – Speed “trap” on a 30mph road. Not bad.
Playing Chicken Or Stupid? – Both I think. Some kids just want to show off to their mates. I’m not exactly one to back down though 😉
This Is My Lane Micra – My lane positioning was definitely encouraging the driver to pull up along side (I would normally try and get central) but still, most hold back. Seems like my legs have better acceleration this time.
He Waved Me By – At the junction before he’d taken a really, really wide route to provide room up the inside but I didn’t really fancy getting squished. Around the corner I stopped behind in traffic and he moved right over and I didn’t really see any point in going forward but he waved me through so… thanks!
Scrape The Pipes – Listen and watch for the lean.
Smooth Filtering – It’s nice when you get a good line like this that I can ride straight down the middle. I did notice that one lady was texting away on her phone after editing this video though… Not the first and won’t be the last.
Shitty Cyclist – Slow and cautious when filtering but feels it’s fine to ignore the lights changing and just after a red light shows. My wording at the end describes my feelings towards him.
Music by Ryan Little
I don’t know how the injury happened but these next few videos are going to be short as I wasn’t riding much over this period. I developed a knee injury (maybe a strain?) but I ignored it and carried on riding. It got worse… And hurt. So I had to take it easy for a few weeks. It feels good now though *touch wood*
In this episode:
Rake Rage – Riding down a road that get quite quite busy, especially with those on two wheels so finding a rake in the middle of the road was quite strange. I wonder how many people just drove right by.
I’d Be The Same – I really, really want to work towards getting a motorbike and a licence. Sunny days, two wheels and some nice fast roads. Sounds like fun.
Well Someone Wasn’t Happy – I think it was the car coming the other way that didn’t appreciate the overtake of the Civic. It didn’t seem overly wild, but it isn’t the best place to overtake.
False Start – This made me laugh. Seeing the Clio in the back of the BMW would have been even funnier. Obviously not paying attention.
Instant One Finger Salute – AD58 UBB – I can clearly see the car approaching the round about before I cross that exit so they can clearly see the island is not clear for them to pull out… Or so you’d think. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the car cross the line and I genuinely thought I was going to get hit. They slammed on the anchors and I instantly gave them the middle finger salute.
Sorry? Thanks? I Didn’t Mind – So I’m not entirely sure the message behind the light flash but I generally take it to mean sorry or thanks. They did pull across my path but there was time to react. No harm done.
One Day In A British Summer – The morning was glorious! Shorts and T Shirt, warm, dry and sunny. By the time I left work it was like another world. Soaked!
Theme Park Traffic – At certain times in the morning, when the park opens in the Summer months the local roads just get so clogged with traffic. Both directions just get filled with slow moving traffic. Luckily for me I can zip right through on two wheels!
Backing track by Ryan Little
Sometimes. I like driving. I still see a lot of stupid shit while out in the car though… This week just happened to be a week where I used the car more than the bikes.
Red Light Jump – BU64YBC – So yeh, traffic is stopped for the red light but it’s ok for them to pull out of a side road and straight through the crossing. OK.
Dangerous Driving – LM58PNF – Taxi driver, a “professional” driver. Ha. If the land rover had been a second earlier around that corner there could have been a nasty head on. The taxi driver would have been blind to anyone taking that exit and the land rover would have had to brake hard in the wet on a corner that has a sudden change in camber. Idiot
Slow it Down Kid – I’m not even sure that lad had brakes on his bike…
Beautiful Summer Weather – I think this is one of the main reasons I didn’t ride much this week. The weather changed so quickly. Five minutes earlier it had been blue skies then all of a sudden the clouds come over and I get pelted with huge rain drops. It felt like hail at times…
Near Miss – Absolutely no idea what the old jeep was thinking of doing there. He’s the one that beeped too. The Fiat had right of way and wasn’t indicating so why the jeep felt like he could just cut across is beyond me. As he went passed me I could see he only had manual windscreen wipers so maybe that was an issue…
It’s OK – I guess some people *ahem* Traffic Droid *ahem* would get all arsey if a biker did this to them but I heard him coming, he 100% saw me and checked where I was, I didn’t have to brake or change direction and he put his hand out as a thanks / sorry (I think?) so I’m fine with it.
And that’s about it…. It really was a short week of riding. Lots more riding coming up for August though. I’ve covered over 600 miles on two wheels.
It’s roadworks season! They actually brought the town centre to a complete standstill one day. Several sets of road works in one place, combined with large amounts of lane closures for no reason meant traffic just stopped. Luckily I got through it all on two wheels no trouble 🙂
Super Close Pass – BD14CZF – I don’t normally mind cars using the same lane to pass so long as I’ve got some wiggle room / I’m not affected by the turbulence or it’s matching my speed but this cockwomble didn’t want to wait and passed me within inches at close to 40mph.
Red Light Jump – NC09PER – Had plenty of time to stop on amber but decided he was too important to wait. Gave him a thumbs up but got no reaction.
Super Considerate – I was more than happy riding in the empty (oncoming) lane but this lady saw me in her mirrors and gave me loads of room to ride back in the “correct” lane. Thanks!
Late Overtake – VA04MJU – The driver coming the other way was not happy at all. I was given plenty of room (thanks!) but it seems the van driver forced the oncoming car to hit the brakes.
Taxi – Obviously they have right of way…
Awkward Stop – I think I had clocked the car coming round, but it hadn’t registered straight away so the stop was very last second. I was definitely about to pull out…
Mobile Abuse – YP11DJF – Fitzpatrick Group – He didn’t even care. Not even trying to hide the fact he has a phone in his hand, held against his ear. Idiot. I see plenty of people sitting in traffic on their phones but he’s taking the piss.
Road Closed – I don’t think so. This is what caused all the gridlock in town. Lanes closed off with no work force on the road. They’d closed off one lane of the entire “ring road” to work on one small part of it. I was actually tempted to move the cones and let everyone through… Later on that evening all the cones had gone due the massive amounts of complaints the council had received from the public and businesses.
Setting a PB – I love it when things fall in to place like this. I saw the bus waiting to pull out and figured I could tuck in behind it for the hill after the island. Although I lost the tow towards the top I still smashed my PB but unfortunately only got 10th place on the Strava leaderboard!
Awesome music again by Ryan Little
I’m almost up to date! Just a couple more double video weeks and I’ll be there, then I’ll have more time to crack on with other projects!
The Morning Chase – I knew I could catch this guy up, he looked to be carrying more weight but to make it easy for me I decided to sit behind and wait for the hill. Of course that meant he could also pick up speed and I had to stop for traffic so he shot passed and took off in a cars slipstream. Felt like a bit of a noob there…
Near Miss – I think the Fiesta driver thought they were also a bike. Almost caused a head on there….
Keep In Your Lane – This still bugs the crap out of me. There’s TWO lanes on both sides of the roundabout so why do some people feel the need to straddle both lanes and turn in towards me as I’m about to take the island. I’m not just going to disappear!
Pedestrian – Sure, just walk out in front of the traffic when there’s a crossing RIGHT NEXT TO YOU!
Sound Effect Kid – It’s fairly easy to keep up with the traffic (30mph) along that stretch of road. Sound effect relevant.
Look Left & Right – The more I look at this, the more I wonder who would be at fault. The overtaking car or the car pulling out. I don’t think either expected the other to make a move, they just saw a cyclist and thought, “I have to get by quickly”
Lane Discipline – Same moan as above. I’m in front – I take the island in the lane first.
Filtering – Lot’s of traffic caused by the weekly collection of bins. That’s all.
Surprise! – That lorry rushed passed so much. The air displacement shook me and they definitely forced on coming cars over.
Playing? – I have no idea what they were doing. Slow to react to traffic in front, then come to a stop, only to wait for me to get along side and pull off again. Hmmm.
Space – It’s happening more and more along my route and that’s drivers looking in their mirrors and seeing me coming so they leave space. I always say thanks.
Motorbike ambitions – One day, One day!
This week summer hit us. Not an English Summer, a continental summer. 30+ degrees C. It was too hot for me. I did a few days riding but the heat was killing me off and I was getting slow so with the Staffs Sportive at the weekend I decided to only ride for 3 days.
There was lots of filtering and lane splitting though. The council like to start the road works season around now so traffic always backs up.
The “Bonus” clip is something I found funny. It’s actually from the Tuesday when I was filtering through traffic. I didn’t think it was wise to squeeze by the Mercedes but I’d already gone passed the lady in the red car. For some reason I decided to look at my rear cam and while skipping through landed on her reaction. It tickled me. I didn’t hold her up and she passed fine when we turned left. 6 minutes later I was filtering through traffic and passed her again but this time I got straight to the end while she had to sit in another half a mile of traffic.
Super Observant – This learner motorbike rider was great. He was constantly glancing in his mirrors both sides to check what was going on, always aware of what was around him. I think he’ll make a good rider.
In A Rush – Normally vehicles won’t pass me in that location unless I wave them by but this driver just seemed to have had enough of me and floored it. The car coming the other way didn’t really want to wait either.
Thank You – That Land Rover driver was awesome. He overtook me earlier and gave me so much room and then when I caught up he made as much space as possible for me to get by. I don’t really like filtering up the inside but when they give you that much space, who can refuse.
Traffic Lights – OK so my waving trick doesn’t always work. Sometimes I do have to stop like everyone else.
Semi Blocked Junction – See this makes traffic worse. People get impatient and instead of leaving a lane clear for traffic to filter passed they will park across the lanes to stop anyone “pushing” in front.
Look Twice – I genuinely didn’t see that BMW until I was pushing off. Brakes were quickly applied and I shuffled back!
I’m enjoying editing. Finding new music and sitting down to piece a video together is quite relaxing sometimes. I’m still two months behind though!
Stupidly I edited these clips into small clips to save space on my hard drive so I haven’t had as much freedom with editing. I’ve also forgot to edit the correct number! Doh!
Attempted Left Hook – I’m not sure where they thought I was going to go in order for them to make that turn but I’m glad they suddenly realised I wouldn’t just disappear.
EO57XBR – Red Light Jump – I thought it was only cyclists that jumped reds…
Fast Lorry – My heart stopped for a second here. I saw the lorry coming…and it kept coming. I don’t think the driver saw me till the last second before hitting the brakes and stopping with the cab on the island…
Late Overtake – I’m not sure why I put this in. They give loads of room and indicate, I just think they were a bit nervous about pulling in front.
The incident where I pulled out in front of a car. Completely my fault. I was on my fixie, doing a tough hill start and had my head down. I’d checked left and right but not across and didn’t see the car until it was right in front of me. Stupid stupid mistake.
Potholes – Well more of a sunken drain, either way I hit it and it dislodged my rear wheel. I just about managed to fix it at the road side with the tools I had.
Motorbike filtering – Sat in traffic when you can sneak down the outside? Nah come on, just don’t twist the throttle too quick and end up in my rear. Sexy looking bike though 🙂
Taxi – Seeing me on the island and flooring it to make it in front. Standard. Sometimes I do it.
Invisible? – Again. Every week the same thing. Some people just seem to think that their car will fit along side me in the same lane. It won’t when I’m trying to centralise myself for a straight run!
7 Years Bad Luck – Someone’s day didn’t start too well finding out that some moron had smashed their mirror off in the night….
Look Before! – Not as you’re pulling out of a junction… You’re now stopped with your nose edged into oncoming traffic.
Pedestrian Jumps Red Light – Because it’s not motorised vehicles and cyclists 😉
Doors – Normally I wouldn’t filter up the inside but for the first few cars I did and then I was gifted with a reason to ride down the outside. Passengers don’t check mirrors!
MGIF Close Pass? – It felt close, only to hit the brakes quickly in order to stop for the traffic.
Sirens – Some people really seem to panic when it comes to hearing sirens. The Ford for example, pulled right off the road suddenly into a drive way for no apparent reason… the other side of the road was clear.
Ryan Little – Valley of Shadows
New music found through Free Music Archive! A artist by the name of BoxCat Games. I’ll feature some of their tracks in upcoming episodes.
AK13HTZ – Using a mobile while driving. Big No No. He’s not the only one I see, but the only one I’ve actually seen drive off still chatting away with his phone in one hand.
Must Get In Front – Sometimes… no… all the time, you need to plan ahead. I did, I’d seen the lorry about to navigate the island but this driver just wanted to get in front of me. He had to brake hard from not noticing the car stopping which forced me to brake harder and my rear wheel locked up and “snatched” at the steering.
Left Hook Attempt – It did leave me wondering, did they really think they could get passed me and turn before I’d made the junction. It looks like they thought they could and then had a change of heart.
Close Pass – It just felt quite rushed…ya know?
Right Of Way – This road is a load of crap. Potholes, bad road repairs, speed bumps. I try and avoid riding in the gutter but this driver had other ideas.
Undertake – Here again. Although there are no road markings it’s common sense the left lane is for left turns, not undertaking someone who moves over as soon as they’re safely passed the first junction.
Near Miss – How that driver didn’t see the bus is beyond me. I’d spotted it indicating back down the road and saw the gap open up for the bus to pull out. I was actually quite hoping the bus would hit them…
Wobble – He almost went into the car trying to squeeze through that gap…
Lorry Close Pass – I have loads of room to my left, yup, it’s where cars normally park but that pass felt so close. Probably all down to the wind that lorries displace…made me jump.
Pointless Overtake – I laughed. Overtook me to simply pull in less than 100m down the road. Good overtake from a bus though!
Activate Lights – These lights are so slow to react normally so I’ve resorted to waving to see if the sensor picks me up quicker…
Bike Love – Genuinely at first, when I heard a car slowly pulling along side I thought I was going to get some abuse. It was a nice surprise when the gent complimented my choice of bike.
Link to music:
Still lots of footage to go through! I quite like this editing lark though. The more I learn the less stressed I get. How is it for you viewers?
Just a short one this time. I don’t think I rode much this week.
– That island is badly planned. Three lanes in, two lanes on the island, three lanes out. Someone always gets cut up, it just happened I was obstructed from view.
– They really wanted me to move out the way so they could finish the overtake… Unfortunately I can’t move the traffic in front.
– Behind me at the island to turn right, pulls out behind me and then tries to dip up the inside. I always move over as soon as I’m passed that first exit to let cars by (like the blue car behind). They were just impatient…
– Filtering with a motorbike. I heard the guy coming so didn’t move out when I wanted and he offered for me to go first but seeing as he has the power I thought I’d let the motorbike lead. I’m just that little bit more agile to fit through the gaps though. The oncoming traffic had to stop at one point to let him through.
– And this is one of the reasons why cyclists need a bit of space. Some, like this gent, get tired and start to wobble around.
Filmed on GoPro HD Hero 2 w/ Chesty Mount
Song: Ryan Little – Sand Castles
– Now that’s a good driver. I indicated I wanted to turn right and despite having the chance to overtake me they acknowledged my signal and held back. Awesome.
– Cutting it fine was in reference to the overtake in this clip. I had to break to let them in. Meh
– This isn’t actually a bike lane. It’s a stretch of road that years ago ran two lanes side by side but someone deemed it too dangerous and limited the road to one lane thus creating a nice area to cycle in at the sides. It would be awesome if all roads had that space to cycle.
– Close pass. Well when a box of metal does pass you at 30+ mph it doesn’t feel nice.
– This happens a fair bit. Some drivers try and squeeze ahead of you before an island and when they realise there’s no space they either end up stradling two lanes or putting the squeeze on you.
– Overtaking on a solid white line, before a blind humpback bridge is never clever… Imagine if that car had been a little quicker…
– I never like having a large vehicle behind me so if I can pull in and wave them by I usually will.
Bonus Bad Bus Driver
Who knows what he was thinking! All the cars and me were indicating left but he still decided just to pull across and force his way in. Reported to the bus company. Not sure if anything happened.
Music by Ryan Little
Two videos for the price of one!
For the last month or so I’ve been following the vlogs of Casey Neistat. I found them after rewatching one of his viral videos in which he was ticketed for riding his bike not in the bike lane. I’m not really one to watch vlogs but his really caught my eye. His style and production of the vlogs really made me want to try out editing a bit more. That motivation, combined with the discovery of free music from Ryan Little (and my hard drive running out of space) has resulted in the last two evenings of me sitting down and trying out a couple of edits.
I’m now trying to work with the music and add colour and light corrections to the videos so hopefully you’ll see an improvement in quality.
#19 is just you’re standard weeks riding really but for #20 I encountered a bit of road rage. It’s posisble I was the spark but I wasn’t involved in the confrontation.
All this was from a week of weird weather in April. It was a pretty uneventful week apart from that one case of road rage. Here’s how it played out to me riding:
I saw the other cyclist filter to the front of two cars, bit of a dick thing to do but hey ho. As soon as the lights went green the two cars passed and I was able to gain quickly. I shoulder checked twice (but didn’t indicate) and pulled out to overtake. Next thing I hear is the car behind honking and all of a sudden the driver pulls in front of me on a clear road and hits the brakes. I zip up the inside, muttering under my breath and carry on.
When I got to work I decided to check the rear cam to see how close the car was to me. I saw it wasn’t that close but found out why the driver reacted so badly. The cyclist I was passing decided to give the old “wanker” gesture after the driver beeped me, which I’m guessing the driver saw and that’s why they pulled in front of me and hit the brakes. The angry cyclist then races to catch up and hits the car, at least once. Further down the road they both come to a stop.
I sent the footage in to a local news page in case anyone needed it and the driver behind the car and cyclist fighting it out go in touch to say it all got a bit heated and nasty as they stopped. Apparently the driver slammed on the brakes an the cyclist went into the back of the car. What happened after that, I don’t know but two angry road users certainly met that day!
I’ve got a lot more footage to go through so there probably will be a few more posts coming up! I’m trying to fit it all in between the two hours of riding I do a day, work and all my projects at home so I’m feeling pretty busy right now!
Two videos to share with you this week. First up is another “POV” video:
I’m getting out on the bike more and more now trying to get the old body back in shape so the amount of footage is building. Unfortunately it’s not all drama like I know a lot of people want to see. The old cyclist vs car war isn’t all that apparent when you’ve got some common sense and a camera clearly visible. Honestly since fitting it to my helmet people really seem to be more cautious when passing you etc. I get some funny looks riding around but I’m enjoying it. OK so the odd “incident” might happen but it’s rare. I just like to share the things I find interesting.
Thanks again to Ryan Little for producing some great free music!
The second video is from my ride to work this morning. It wound me up so much. As I’m approaching the island, with less than 100m to go I notice a car passing in the second lane. It’s quiet, the island is free, it’s safe to use both lanes to continue on to the next section which has two lanes. What I didn’t expect was the driver to suddenly swing back into my lane before the island, closing the gap and slowing down quickly. There was no need for it. The driver was completely oblivious to what they’d done and just drove on. I passed them again 500m down the road but still got no recognition or sorry.
The video has been shared on a local “new” page and while many comments are saying how bad the driving is, there are still others who shift the blame on to me, saying there was plenty of space and the driver was just getting back in their lane. While I watch the video back everything seems a bit slower and of course I can see ways out of it but in the moment everything happens so quick. I believe it’s only 5 second from first seeing the car pass until they’ve completely cut me up but that’s ok apparently. I wonder how many would think it was ok if I went out in my car and did the same move on them…
Stay safe out there!