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Cycling - 2

Started by Dixkot, May 12, 2013, 00:27:41 AM

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Very cold today, but I left work early hoping to tolerate 20 or so, to get the last month of 2021 off to a half-decent start. Despite the temperature (about 2C) it was actually very nice out there - bright winter sunshine until sunset.

I wore two pairs of gloves again with a thicker pair as the outer layer. My fingers and thumbs seemed to do a bit better this time, but not much. I also wore a new winter cycling top that I scored from Amazon - a bit like a hiking anorak in bright orange. Mountain Warehouse. Works well enough but doesn't have side pockets, annoyingly. I bought size M and worried that the arms might not be long enough, because mine are a bit gibbon-esque. But they're fine.



I set off towards Coalville with the idea of going over to Belton but changed my mind and did a Twycross Bypasser instead. Terrific view from Orton Hill of the skyscraper tops at Birmingham behind the horizon, just to the right of the setting sun. After sunset the temperature dropped another degree and by this time my fingers and toes felt like they'd been bathed in liquid nitrogen.

There were a couple of short stretches of icy road, most worryingly on a shallow downhill bend at Orton. I came round the curve very carefully. But the roads were mostly dry.

Ended up doing 32.06 miles, quite satisfying in those conditions.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6334997925

After being snowed off last weekend, it was good to get back out on the roads again. Could have been better, but it was better than sweating on a Turbo Trainer!

Didn't sweat too much outdoors, even though it was warmer than I thought it would be, because there was a stiff wind and the constant threat of rain. Due to rain threat I didn't do the Cutthorpe climb as it looked as that way lead to rain, so I went and did the Col de Wigley, no rain there, but a wind which nearly stopped me in my tracks near the top. I was going to drop down and do the Harewood road climb, but it was so windy on the tops that I knew I'd have been blown sideways coming back from Beeley, so I dropped down and did the Col de Wigley again. I thiught I was going to be quicker than my first ascent, but the headwind had increased in strength and it was slower for longer near the top.

Incoming rain meant I skipped going along Clodhall Lane and to get a decent mileage in I dropped down to Barlow rather than Cutthorpe. Now having a tail wind I set my best time up the Grange Lane Koppenberg. Which was nice.

So, December underway with 35 miles, not the 40 I'd hoped for, but better than zilch.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6341800312/overview
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection

And got got out again today. Was hoping to get 40 miles in, but was delayed having my COVID booster jab this morning, then Mrs S was late getting dinner on, waster >:(

I'd hoped for dry roads today, but it was a bit of a damp morning, then whilst I barely got rained on, a heavy shower gave all the roads I was going to use a good dousing, so Far Lane a road I don't like going up today became a road I didn't like going down being as it was covered in wet gravel, mud and horse shit. Still, it was a ride and I'm now within 100 miles of 7,000 for the year.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6347505030/
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection

No cycling for me over the weekend. The weather was just a bit too dismal for it to be worthwhile. I still have 218 miles to do to hit my target but at least I have a few days off work this month. Only 8 working days of 2021 left for me after today, looking at my calendar.

Might do 20 after work this evening.

Dismal, wet day. The rain stopped in the afternoon, but the roads were still wet when I set off after work. And the rain started coming down again 20 minutes after that.

Not for long though. Not too cold. A bit windy. I did a Twycrosser with the Sheepy section omitted, because the road to Sheepy from Twycross was closed. Extended it by detouring through Burgoland and Ibstock in the last few miles.

25.27, quite an enjoyable run out really - especially once the rain gave way to clear skies with nice views of the stars and planets.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6351673781

So I typed this into the snooker thread:

Dismal wet weather today but it stopped raining in the afternoon. The forecast suggested it probably wouldn't rain again this evening. The roads were still properly wet when I stopped work at about 4pm. But since I hadn't been out for a few days I thought I'd go out for a spin anyway. With the self-indulgence of owning too many bikes comes the responsibility of being prepared to sacrifice at least one of them to the elements. The second Boardman was selected for this task.

Unfortunately the rain started again about 20 minutes after I set off, but it didn't last long. I must admit to being overcome by a "what the smeg am I doing?" moment as I pedalled toward Twycross, with wet leaves and sideways-moving rain blowing around my face. But later on the skies cleared to a lovely starlit night and in the end I quite enjoyed it. Quite a satisfying run out.

The road to Sheepy was closed for some reason so I came straight down the main road to Gibbet Lane. But I extended the ride a bit by detouring through Burgoland and Swepstone, then Ibstock.

Sad to see the Belper Arms at Burgoland with the lights off. Hope someone leases it soon. Nice place with a big beer garden.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6351673781

25.27 miles. 




Then I couldn't find it in this thread, assumed the board had swallowed it then retyped an impatiently brief version (previous post). Odd.


Anyway -

I got up and started work at 0700 this morning. Sometimes I wake up early, remember that we aren't in the EU any more, then I'm too excited to go back to sleep. But it was good timing for a well-deserved extended lunch break, because rain was due later in the day and on the whole I prefer cycling in daylight.

I wrapped up warm but it was a relatively mild day and I ended up too hot. I did a fairly standard Twycrosser. Nice diversion from work for a couple of hours.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6362977530

26.32, 166 to do but I'm mostly concerned about getting the December Fondo in.

Well, I managed 30 miles today. Ten shy of what I wanted to, but it still takes me to within 70 miles of 7,000 for the year. I'm more concerned about missing out on December's climbing challenge. I think I'll need good weather in the week after Xmas to get there.

Last Saturday I struck lucky with the weather. Today not so much, the rain arrived two hours earlier than predicted, so I decided to bail out as the rain had penetrated my gloves and  the old fingers had got a bit cold.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6369983837
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection

I got overtaken by an Elf on a bicycle today  >:( Worst thing is, I'd already passed him at speed. I then came unstuck going uphill. I looked down and saw I was in a gear higher than normal and the normal is probably a gear to high at this time of the year, so I'd made it hard on myself. The cheery little fellow said I'd get him again on the flat, but I knew differently. I took a different turning anyway.

Couldn't believe how warm it was today either, I think I felt colder indoors than out, certainly made the right call to leave off the base layer and shoe covers. Today's 33 miles gets me to within one good ride of 7,000 miles for the year, hope the weather holds.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6375645780/
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection


QuoteA rain-free day, not too cold. I took the afternoon off to do the December Fondo. A moderate wind was blowing from the south, which made the choice of route difficult - the usual eastbound and westbound routes both involve coming south-ish over the last few miles, and I didn't fancy a headwind after 50-odd.

So I did the usual southbound route, all the way down to Welford. The wind wasn't too annoying on the way down although that route actually goes more south-east than directly south, so it wasn't a full-on headwind.

Took this pic at Welford:



then I pedalled a few hundred metres into the village and turned back for home.

As I left the village I noticed that the Wharf Inn pub had a sign outside saying "CLOSED - see border sign across the road". Apart from Welford Marina, it is the only part of the village currently in Tier 3, and literally opposite a "Welcome to Leicestershire" sign. Very unfortunate for the proprietors of that place, because I would guess that the majority of their clientele are from Welford on the other side of the border in Tier 2, presently able to eat Scotch Eggs and drink to their heart's content in Welford's other pub.

But you've got to draw the line somewhere.

I fuelled up at Gilmorton Village Store on the way back. A couple of sandwiches, a chocolate orange bar, a bag of crisps and insipid coffee, all consumed on the bench on the other side of the road. By the time I'd finished, it was dark and a bit colder. But I wasn't uncomfortable.

Encouraged by the success of my Tesco joggers, I bought some proper cycling pants and wore them over my tights. Much lighter material, and more water-resistant I'm sure. But not actually quite as warm. Also, they have zip side pockets that aren't much more than the zips - I couldn't even fit a debit card in there. Just for show I assume. Weird.

I made the mistake of coming back through Donington le Heath a few miles from home. I always forget how wet the roads can be along there. Having done my best to avoid puddles the whole ride, I managed to fling up obscene quantities of muddy water on the downhill part, and ended up having to wipe and GT85 the bike back at the garage.

Very nice run out though. Nice to go down that way again, hadn't done it since October.

I listened to Talk Sport and 5 Live. Saddened to hear of the death of Gerard Houllier, and disconcerted to hear Matt Hancock refer to a new variant of the virus at the press briefing. Quite nice that we won't see Beth Rigby at one of those again, though.

Back on 65.52 miles, and that's 259 done this month - not bad for half a December - and 69 to do.

https://www.strava.com/activities/4472516483


The photo from this post came up in my Facebook memories today - I remember this ride well, unsettling that it's a year ago now. Also in the news a year ago today - the 'Kent Variant'.


I would have been unable to ride a mile yesterday, being wiped out from my booster jab on Tuesday. But I seemed to have recovered quite nicely when I woke up this morning and I had the day off work, so I decided to have a go at the December Fondo. I chose the time-honoured eastbound route to Eastwell, despite a light wind coming from the west. I estimated that the headwind on the way back would be less strenuous than the hills south of Melbourne on the westbound route (and it wasn't bad at all, as things turned out).

Definitely wanted an easy bike today and conditions were eminently dry, so I was going to take the Cannondale. But when I opened the garage door I noticed that the Planet X had two frame packs attached already. So I decided to take that, out of sheer idleness.

Last time I was out on it I noticed that the saddle was quite uncomfortable, and when I got back to the garage I noticed that it had tilted up a bit at the front. It's a single bolt design and had worked itself backwards a bit. I adjusted it back to the proper inclination and thought no more of it.

It was very comfy when I set off today, but 15 miles later it definitely wasn't. I got off and inspected it near Cotes, and sure enough it had worked itself back to a rather uncomfortable angle. I didn't have an Allen key on me but out of sheer bloody-mindedness I decided to keep on anyway. I had broken my own rule of never doing a long ride on a bike that's just been adjusted. And it cost me dear. The rest of the ride was decidedly uncomfortable and the last 20 or so especially were an ordeal.



I shouldn't really have done this. An ill-adjusted saddle can do all sorts of mischief to your nether regions, including compromising your sexual health. I'm not, I reluctantly admit, much given or sought after for Hunnish practices these days but I shall seek an opportunity to test the reproductive equipment later. I confess it doesn't stay up as long as it did when I was younger, but I could dig potatoes with it on a good day. Briefly.

Apart from having my perineum ravaged that was quite an enjoyable ride, or it would have been. But I'm happy to have got the complete set of monthly Fondos for 2021. That was the 27th Fondo this year, five of them being 100+ milers.

Back on 62.43. 146 this month, 4896 this year.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6391231105


QuoteI would have been unable to ride a mile yesterday, being wiped out from my booster jab on Tuesday. But I seemed to have recovered quite nicely when I woke up this morning and I had the day off work, so I decided to have a go at the December Fondo. I chose the time-honoured eastbound route to Eastwell, despite a light wind coming from the west. I estimated that the headwind on the way back would be less strenuous than the hills south of Melbourne on the westbound route (and it wasn't bad at all, as things turned out).

Definitely wanted an easy bike today and conditions were eminently dry, so I was going to take the Cannondale. But when I opened the garage door I noticed that the Planet X had two frame packs attached already. So I decided to take that, out of sheer idleness.

Last time I was out on it I noticed that the saddle was quite uncomfortable, and when I got back to the garage I noticed that it had tilted up a bit at the front. It's a single bolt design and had worked itself backwards a bit. I adjusted it back to the proper inclination and thought no more of it.

It was very comfy when I set off today, but 15 miles later it definitely wasn't. I got off and inspected it near Cotes, and sure enough it had worked itself back to a rather uncomfortable angle. I didn't have an Allen key on me but out of sheer bloody-mindedness I decided to keep on anyway. I had broken my own rule of never doing a long ride on a bike that's just been adjusted. And it cost me dear. The rest of the ride was decidedly uncomfortable and the last 20 or so especially were an ordeal.



I shouldn't really have done this. An ill-adjusted saddle can do all sorts of mischief to your nether regions, including compromising your sexual health. I'm not, I reluctantly admit, much given or sought after for Hunnish practices these days but I shall seek an opportunity to test the reproductive equipment later. I confess it doesn't stay up as long as it did when I was younger, but I could dig potatoes with it on a good day. Briefly.

Apart from having my perineum ravaged that was quite an enjoyable ride, or it would have been. But I'm happy to have got the complete set of monthly Fondos for 2021. That was the 27th Fondo this year, five of them being 100+ milers.

Back on 62.43. 146 this month, 4896 this year.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6391231105

Impressive! In more ways than one
"Who would have thought that the ending of freedom of movement of goods and people would lead to shortages in goods and people"

Head scratcher!

Today's weather looks none too appealling :



I'll probably do 20 anyway. There should be plenty of time left to do another 150 miles this year but you never know.

I decided not to bother cycling today after a brief excursion out of the front door to test the elements, but conditions had brightened slightly in the early afternoon. The roads were wet and the air was damp, but winds were light and it wasn't that cold.

I set off on the Tricross at 13:21 without a clear plan except to do about 20. I pretty much followed my nose, and my nose took me up to Isley Walton, then west and up over Swarkestone Bridge, along the A road for a bit. Then I turned for home after 17 miles, but I came back the usual way through Melbourne.

Delighted to find that the single worst road surface on any of my routes - a stretch that regularly gets waterlogged through the woods between Melbourne and Coleorton, characterised by a gruesome collection of potholes, crumbly layers and haphazard lumpy repairs like massive blobs of grey blu-tack - has now been resurfaced with proper, smooth, luxurious tarmac. Beautiful.

The road west of Isley Walton has also been very nicely resurfaced, although only up to the Derbyshire sign, after which it's business as usual. But it's not nearly as bad.



Listened to a phone-in on LBC about the North Shropshire by-election result . Very frustrating to hear how many people have been taken in by the media spin and lies, although there were one or two rational callers thankfully. But before long we're going to have to make sure there's a media regulatory body with a commitment to genuine impartiality and fairness, that has teeth.

The mist really intensified after sunset, but I'd wrapped up warm. Had to clean the bike up back at base.

Back on 31.76 miles.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6399789708

I got out this morning. The weather wasn't too bad. No frost, not snowing, no wind, no rain - but a bit of drizzle, a bit of mist which was about full on fog up on the tops, but not too bad. Not too bad, but cars were still driving round without any lights on, yet yesterday on the M1 with just a light mist they were all driving around with full high intensity fog lights. Why are so many car drivers so stupid?

Quite a few groups of cyclists out and about today. Got fed up of saying "Hello" and waving to them. Don't they know I'm a misanthropic sociopath? I also came across the Barlow Hunt out and about in the fog. Horsey Bastards >:(

Today's 36 miles got me over 7,000 for the year - 220 more than 2020 - but I'm not yet over 2019's 552,500ft of elevation gain. It will come.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6398187671/
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection