Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Little Smartie attends first event

For those not already in the know, I made an addition to my transport arrangements at the end of November 2018

Little Smartie is a pure electric car and was purchased with my Mon-Fri trundle into Manchester in mind. She lives in the garage and has a dedicated home charger. 

After 3 months of ownership I thought it was about time she attended her first 'event'. So which one to choose? Not only do I now have to contend with 'cut-off' anxiety, I now have to think about if I can get to the event and back again on one charge - otherwise know as 'range-anxiety' in EV parlance.

Fortunately the Two Crosses event organised by the East Lancs branch of LDWA fitted the bill. A 22m return drive, with a 25m run in between. The drive was well within the capabilities of Little Smartie (65m range in Winter), but there was a bit of a question mark over the runners capabilities as it's been a long time since this sort of distance has been undertaken.

Event day arrived and the first wobble of the day, looking out the bedroom window to see a covering of hailstones. Little Smartie is rear-wheel drive. A quick check of google maps to see if I can avoid the minor roads without too much of a detour. Reassured this was the case, and off we set. Arriving at Event HQ it was a breeze negotiating the school playground and all the obstacles.

4 Seasons worth of weather and 6hrs50mins later, I returned to Little Smartie. Only now did I realised that I hadn't properly given much thought to the dilemma of keeping Little Smartie's interior spotlessly clean (yes, really!!) as befits a 'city' car.

Aside from the clean car bit, the event was a success. My pace was slow, but training dictates that I also need to spend time on my feet if I'm going to succeed at the Calderdale Way Ultra in June. A big thank you to East Lancs LDWA for fabulous event, food was great and good to see so many familiar faces.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Spring Equinox 'Do'

I have booked a biggish table at the Black Horse for the 22nd.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Spring Equinox 'Do'

2019 Vernal Equinox is Wednesday 20th March, so a 'do' on Friday 22nd is indicated.

Any takers?

Friday, February 22, 2019

Saturday 23rd Feb 2019

UTUP tomorrow is the Black Dog, Belmont at 8:30. Apologies for late notification.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

TF and TLofB Winter Epic

Sat 2nd Feb was set aside for second attempt at our first JN recce, the first attempt last November being abandoned due to weather conditions.

Well the two of us were determined that the weather gods were not going to get the better of us this time. The starting point was Dunmail Raise and the finish Grasmere. We had plan A, B, C......

Plan A was starting well when I spotted a trail of snowy footprints heading up the Fell. Whoever the early bird was, had big feet and was clearly used to winter conditions making a zig-zag trail up the Fell. I was soon making good progress, TLoB however was finding it tougher going as you can see from the picture, it’s not often that TF gains that much on him up a hill!

We finally made it to the fence line after well over 50 minutes of b(****)y hard work. Once on the gentler slopping stuff, TLoB recovered his mojo and was soon zooming ahead to the first summit.

It was here that Plan B was put into action. Surveying the route ahead we could at least see the fenceline to follow, but could predict that progress would be slow. So it was a day for taking in the views and enjoying the experience of the wintery conditions. Our next target was the top of the Easdale valley where we would make our descent back to Grasmere.

After a couple of little detours to check out the views, we duly arrived at the head of the valley after a further one hour of effort.

So in all, 7.75m (on my Garmin) 1370ft and just over 4hrs. Was it worth it - yes!

Monday, January 28, 2019

TAB to Bowland - The event

There was 4 in total for this little adventure into the Bowland Fells, YJ, EtU SN and yours truly. Weather was not looking the best but we hoped we'd be off the fell by the time it turned a bit 'yucky'

We headed off up the Langden Valley with the promise of a guided tour round Langden Castle. Both SN and myself were a little disappointed to find it was only a glorified cow shed, but we agreed to the obligatory piccies. The guided tour was brief to say the least.

From here we headed further up the valley to ascend towards Fiendsdale Head, negotiating a crossing of the Langden Brook. Wet feet for all.

Visibilty on the top wasn't great, so it was useful to have fence to follow, visiting the Trig Point on Fair Snape was left for another day. 

Navigating up to this point had be going 'swimmingly' well especially due to the number of boggy bits, but the lure of a waymarked trod down out of the mist had the only person able to read the map without glasses, making a spectacular parallel error into the wrong valley.

The map reader only realized their error once Langden Castle came back into view - ooops!! All we had to do now was find a safe way to cross back over Langden Brook, given that we were further downstream. Wet feet were a given this time. 

The gps trace reveals the true scale of the error! Thought they were in one valley to the right

All thanks to EtU for suggesting the outing. All felt it was worth another visit but perhaps in the summer months and to see if we can do the original planned route!