Monday, 19 January 2015

Race prep and training weekend

I set out this weekend, determined to get some practice in on the bike before the upcoming Snowrun enduro. What I hadn't bargained for, was the freezing temperatures and snowfall!

I decided I'd spend Saturday morning doing some more maintenance, so I got up nice and early and set about completing a few jobs:
  • Replaced the rear wheel bearings
  • Replaced the chain link
  • Cleaned the air filter
  • Replaced the gearbox oil
  • Re-fitted the bash plate
  • Checked all over the bike for loose bolts
  • Checked the spoke tension
  • Fitted some clubman (yellow) backgrounds
  • Adjusted the handguards
  • Bled the front brake
  • Tested the circuit for the electric roadbook
All of which ended up taking me most of the day in actual fact! But I was enjoying myself, tinkering with the bike is something I find quite satisfying, especially when I do a good job of fixing something.

Anyway, by the time I'd finished, it was starting to get dark, so I decided to leave the training until the next day.

On Sunday morning I got up early again and looked out of the window...everything was covered in a nice 2 inch thick layer of snow and the ground was frozen solid with plenty of ice everywhere too. I went out at 9am to check the temperature and it was -3C. Still, it was a really nice, clear day and I like a bit of snow riding, so I thought I'd go for it anyway and get in a decent training session!

I was out riding for about 20 minutes, then my fingers got really cold and I had to stop to warm them up. You know that intense burning sensation you get when they are really cold and start to warm up? I had that for 5 minutes (it felt like a lot longer) and then got back on the bike and carried on.

In the end I managed to train well, I rode for about 2.5 hours and was happy with how I rode, especially in those conditions. The new tyres made a big difference, I have to say.

I deliberately stopped early, because I knew I'd have to spend a while cleaning the bike before I put it away. The pipes were frozen outside, so I started off by washing the bike (by hand) with buckets of hot, soapy water. Then I thawed one of the hose pipes from outside and got the pressure washer going. With the aid of some Muc-Off, she was looking smart again! That whole process took me an hour and a half though.

Then I decided I wasn't happy putting it away as it was, so I set about drying all the essential components with a heat gun - first time I've ever gone to so much trouble to clean a bike, I hope she remembers that at the Snowrun and is kind to me! Then I did my usual re-greasing routine and all is good to go for the race in just under 3 weeks time.

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