Monday, 29 December 2008

Finally.......a hill!

Its only been 8 months but finally we've discovered some decent hills in this country.Its taken a trip to the aptly named Peak District to the country village of Matlock in Derbyshire.

Now thats the boring stuff out of the way and Santa says, letzzzzzzzz rolllllllllll.

Trail: Mostly X-Country
Terrain: Very hilly and muddy
Weather: Sunny and 3deg
Nearest Station: Cromford

Leisurely rolled out of bed at 11am and downstairs for brekkie. Slammed down a glass water and some left over pork (it was Boxing day). After a brief chat with the lads about the overnight cricket in Oz and 3 swift Bloody Mary's to keep up the xmas cheer I was ready to roll solo.

No map, no, GPS and certainly not sober I set off. The first 3 km or so was a leisurely down hill roll at which time I wondered weather I was in fact attired correctly as my nuts were about to freeze off.

First offroad took me onto the High Peaks trail. The uphill was very muddy resulting in some walking stints but the downhill though the forest certainly made up for it. After this I took on the steep incline to the top of Black Rocks which itself has magnificent views.

From here full x-country ensued. At times rocks, at times shin deep mud, a fair dose of blackberries and their muddafarka cuts and some serious fun. As these are shared tracks with horses and plenty bushwalkers or 'trampers' it could be slow going on the tight single tracks but I was all the better for increased bike control.

Toward the end my decision not to take a map was almost my downfall when a wrong turn left me at the end of a dead end trail surrounded both side by blackberries. With no proper warmth for the near freezing conditions and light rapidly fading I took the boring option of retracing my ride on foot as a puncture from the berry bushes was seemed an unattractive option.

Finally free of the spiky hell I rolled on home finishing with the always unenviable task of the uphill climb. in all sweet roll, with plenty more out there to discover, one to come back too for sure.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Saturday, 20 December 2008

It's on like Donkey Kong!

OK, it may have been 8 months between posts but it's on now. We have spent a lot of time scoping out things to do in London without walking side by side with hordes of tourists, or drinking in a local pub (as much fun as that is). We even considered getting to the end of every tube line in London within a day- but the plan also included a drink at each terminus... (for the record, it's not possible to go end to end on the tube on every line in a day- that would take about 46 hours.)

So while it 'may' be possible to engage in entertaining activities in London without alcohol, it's simply not the way we roll. We will try not to make alcohol the focal point, but it always creeps its fun loving head in somewhere...

Today we went for a ride, in search for Epsom Racecourse.

View Larger Map

Both well and truly hungover (I told you alcohol couldn't be completely barred) we set off roughly south. For the first time we had managed to take a camera with us so stopped off for some photo opportunities in a flooded underpass. Not nearly as hardcore as we hoped, we continued down through Wimbledon Common. There's something nice about Wimbledon Common- whether it be the body stashing facilities or the guarantee of muddy trails and dogs who run in front of you, but it was good just getting out for a roll.

After following signs we ended up heading the wrong direction so left it to the GPS (nicknamed 'Gypo' when he's doing well and 'Gypson' when he has been bad) to choose our path. We encountered some busy roads, shit traffic and ugly suburbs but eventually got to Epsom. The High St looked rubbish so we went for a cruise to Epsom Downs. Unfortunately the signage disappeared and we ended up at the World's End.

No, seriously- the World's End. And nature calls when a sign suggests you can't do something...

Anyway, Gypo managed to take us up some cool hills and when the trees cleared we were higher than we realised. Suddenly the Racecource jumped out at us, and so did a nice view over West London. A beer was nearly in order at The Derby Hotel but it looked a little upmarket for two dudes in shorts, covered in mud. So we headed home... for beer.

Monday, 7 April 2008

London Randominity

"A man who is tired of London, is tired of life..."

Apparently. For those who believe there is more to life than football and alcohol or are just tired of endless crowds of tourists, we have the most random list of London activities to encourage your creativity.

Join us on little adventures within London, and surrounding areas, to find things that are not in your average guide book.

London Randominity will never replace your Lonely Planet, but it will certainly replace your boredom and monotony, and will force you to reach out to the locals to learn a thing or two. Besides, it will be very different and highly amusing.

If you would like to add any random activities to London Randominity, feel free to post comments.