The horror! Or, Map of Joy: Volume III, Update I

I’ve been sadly remiss with my Map of Joy updates!  This year I decided to take a different approach –  rather than making a list of the places we were hoping to visit and ticking them off as we get there, I’ve gone for *drumroll*…


Which is like the old Map of Joy, except we fill it out as we go along.  It’s less of a crushing disappointment that way at the end of the year when we realise we haven’t managed to visit half of the places we were hoping to!   Keeping on last year’s theme of slacking I’ve not actually posted this year’s yet, but in my defence we have had a lot on.  Well, wait no longer!


OK, slightly overdone build up when it only has three locations on it, but look!  A medal!  From Mountain Mayhem!  Over-excited blogpost to follow soon!

Map of Joy: Volume II, Update II

Now with added Llandegla!  Bought a rather attractive RSPB pin badge of a flower – last year’s black grouse one is now pinned to my biking wallet.

My arm is healing up well, by the way, although the biggest graze is still oozing.  And iodine hurts. Still, nothing can dampen the raging excitement for Glentress!  Only a week away!


Right, so it’s been a mental week.  Cambelt on the Micra failed last weekend, possibly explodificating the engine.  I say ‘possibly’ – the Nissan dealership were quoting £500 just to find out what was wrong, and quoted “£5000 – £6000” as the possible full cost of repair – basically a new engine.  Given that the car was only seven grand when I bought it five years ago…no thank you.  I’ve had nothing but problems with that car, so it got flogged as a non-runner.  Au revoir, you honkering pile of French shite!

Alas, this does mean that we’re without a car – hiring temporarily, definitely wanted to get to the Chase this weekend, for obvious reasons!  And we’ll also be looking for a new, towbar friendly car.

Although in a way it’s a relief to be shot of the Micra, but it came at a bad time.  If we’d known that the car was going to die, we might have spent a bit less on biking products… but on the plus side, I now have my new niche ride!

Name?  Name?

That’s right!  STEEL IS REAL!  This, dear reader, is my commuting touring adventure steed – although predictably enough, once it was built up, I thought, “I’d quite like to take that over the Chase”.   Speaking of built up…

Many have tried to prove that they’re faster, but they never last, and they died as they triiiied

Fortunately it was actually quite cheap to get running – most of the parts are Mr Toast hand-me-downs, mostly from his Stumpjumper HT.  Just need to get a decent saddle on it, and we’ll be sorted!  The Inbred fits really well – I was a bit cautious about the size given it’s a 14″ frame, and obviously the last 14″ frame I had was tiny.  However, Inbreds are a good bit longer, and according to their site 14″is good for riders of a minimum height of 5ft 2!  But yeah – seems to be a perfect fit.

I was initially hoping to get some sort of hideously garish pink monstrosity – I think I might be hitting my midlife crisis.  Sadly, although Scandals and 456s are available in pink, it was white or black with the Inbreds.  I settled for the white, so he matches the Professor – it’s a lovely pearlescent white as well!  Mr Toast said he was quite glad, but he can talk – he has a brown bike.  BROWN.  We do not speak of it…

Anyhoo, when it came to naming, I wasn’t sure what to call the Inbred.  I thought steel – British Steel – Judas Priest.  But I couldn’t call him Judas, that’s just asking for trouble, and I’ve had enough of that lately.  I did toy with ‘Peter’, in tribute to late Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele, but that might have sounded a bit odd – we know people called Peter…

So, I went with what was, in all honesty, my first thought.  He is an Inbred.  I shall call him Cletus.

In other news, my Chase Trails membership pack came through today, including parking pass and car sticker.  Now, if only I had a car! 😆


The coaster this time round is a good ol’ size, and in a rather attractive blue.  It now has pride of place representing Cannock Chase on…THE MAP OF JOY 2010!


Well, I’m off for the evening…MONKEY TOMORROW!

Map of Joy 2010!

Yes, it’s the 2010 Map of Joy!  All the 2009 mementos have been removed, the black ‘Done’ pins replaced with white ones, and it’s now ripe to record a new year’s worth of adventures.

It’s fairly similar to last year’s, with a couple of additions and changes.  Main additions are the 7Stanes trail centres – Kirroughtree, Mabie and Ae.  The cunning plan is that this year we’re going to spend TWO weeks in Scotland – one around the south-west border, probably near Mabie.  Hopefully we’ll have time to hit Dalbeattie again, but we’re not counting on it!  The second will be our usual anniversary trip to Glentress in July.  Huzzah!

Thetford, Afan and Coed-Y-Brenin are still on the map, hopefully we’ll actually ride them this year!  I’m strangely intrigued by Thetford – it’s a bit lonely in the south-east, and as you can see from the map, looks a bit…flat.  It’s not a part of the country I’ve ever been to before, so I’ll be interested to see what it has to offer.

Map of Joy 2010

Tomorrow will be our first biking related ‘engagement’ of 2010 – the first ‘Big Build Day’ of the year! So, you can probably expect an update from that over the next couple of days…once I’ve thawed out!