Cycling - 2

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

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Although the forecast had threatened rain all day, and a brief shower did come over this morning, by 2pm or so the BBC forecast had changed to a mere threat of rain around 3pm. But by 2pm, informed by the rainfall radar site and the general conditions outside, I'd become convinced that even that wasn't going to happen.

So I decided to take the Boardman out on a Twycross run. But as I approached Ashby, I had the idea of going back the same way I came home yesterday, as far as Robinson's Hill - which was where I last saw my phone. So I did that, in the faint hope that I'd see it lying on the other side of the road along the way.

I didn't, of course. Up through Ashby (I'm reluctant to do that, because it often coincides with the death of a celebrity - an inexplicable phenomenon), up through Smisby and into Derbyshire, into Ticknall and finally to the bench where I'd removed the phone from my pocket. I'd hoped that maybe - just maybe, I might have dropped it in the grass round the bench, in which case it would be relatively unscathed if it was even still there. But of course there was no sign of it.

I turned for home, glancing at the side of the road as I pedalled. I stopped at the bench at Ticknall where I had a cheese roll and a Swizzels lolly that I found at the back of one of the kitchen cupboards. It had been there for months, therefore was fair game.

I set off again suitably refreshed. By this time I had actually given up hope of finding it and stopped scanning the roadside for it, but about four miles later at the base of Bastard Hill, I spotted a Samsung Galaxy S4 lying in the grass verge. I couldn't quite believe it. The screen was certainly quite badly messed up as you can see below, the battery was nowhere to be seen and the rear cover was lying a few feet from the rest of the phone, but it was almost certainly my own phone. The SIM card was still present.

Came back the same way. Didn't want to do too many miles as I'd started to consider the possibility of doing a long one tomorrow. I did take a right into Packington to come through Normanton and Heather, and extend my ride a bit.

Really a lovely run out. Not too windy, I never thought there was a real threat of rain and almost warm. I feel as though the cycling season proper has arrived with these last three days' rides, which have mostly been delightful.

I gave the barrel adjuster for the rear gears a slight loosen to compensate for the phantom changes I had yesterday, and didn't get any trouble. But something must be slightly amiss, because gear cables don't wear tighter, do they?

26.98 and that's 111 this month.

Got the phone home, spare battery in, and switched it on. It did actually power up - I heard the bootup music and a couple of notification beeps - but the screen is completely black and unresponsive. I've already ordered another one anyway. I suppose I could keep it as a spare battery charger.

Unsure if I'll be able to get photos and other data off it, but they weren't that important. I don't think I will because it needs interaction on the screen to allow USB access. I could I suppose swap parts with the replacement (same model) that should arrive in a few days, but it's not really worth it.

More tomorrow! Looking at the weather forecast there's a threat of rain to the south and east of here, so I shall probably head westward. Perhaps on the Planet X. Fingers crossed I remember to put the mirror back.


Crikey that looks like it was shot up by an Apache gunship!
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


I  thought about taking the summer bike out for a spin today. After a nanosecond I stopped thinking about it and took out the winter bike. I did however wear my bling new cycling shoes out in the open with no overshoes today. Big mistake, I knew it would be, going out looking like a pro, but riding like a novice. Ho-hum.
Slower ride out than yesterday and that was an "epic" trip out into the Peaks. I suppose yesterday could just have taken it out of me. A set of traffic lights on Matlock Road hill didn't help either, normally I can significantly raise my average speed down there, but a set of lights which seemed to be stuck on red necessitated a diversion through Holymoorside on never before ridden roads. It's all miles in the legs though. Things can only get better etc. etc.
Legend in my own Mind


Quote from: Slim on April 07, 2018, 20:56:43 pmMore tomorrow! Looking at the weather forecast there's a threat of rain to the south and east of here, so I shall probably head westward. Perhaps on the Planet X. Fingers crossed I remember to put the mirror back.

Mrs Slim looked so dismayed when I casually announced that I would be out of the house for 7+ hours on Sunday, that I abandoned my plan to do a long ride and resolved to take her out instead. And I did.

In fact the weather forecast worsened a bit so I wouldn't have done a long one anyway. So I got points for consideration, and I didn't really lose out. Win-win. Pity I didn't stay out a bit longer on Saturday instead of resting my legs as I was enjoying myself, but oh well.

Rain forecast for most of this week, but next week looks OK at the moment.


Actually cycled outside twice this weekend.

Nearly enjoyed it as well.....
The new songs are an abomination


What with the bad weather and a chest infection I haven't been able to shift for over 3 weeks, I've not been out for ages. Hopefully this weekend
You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!


Looks like the weather might be brighter here at the weekend, but the forecast has been very changeable over the last few days. Very damp here at the moment.


Being as sunset has how hit 20:00 hours I went out for my first evening spin of the year. It's still like winter out there...
Legend in my own Mind


Got a sportive the week after next, Bostin Chase, could probably do with a ride outside at some point before then!!!!
The new songs are an abomination


April 14, 2018, 19:53:51 pm #2904 Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 20:23:43 pm by Nïckslïkk2112
When I got up this morning, I felt the best I've felt on a Saturday all year :) The sun was almost shining :) It nearly felt warm :) Surely the perfect conditions for the first Fondo of the year :) Er, no...
First decent hill I came to I felt as if I could barely spin the pedals round. Why? I dunno, perhaps it was a reaction to feeling good, as a natural curmudgeon I shouldn't feel good. Ho-hum.
I had intended doing a couple of climbs I'd never done before too, to stop repeating the same things, but after the first - supposed easier climb - I gave the second one a miss, preferring the tried and tested route home.
Overall I fell just over five miles short, I could have pootled around a bit, but the legs weren't having it. I'd also run out of water. After weeks of barely touching a bidon on a ride out today was a definite two bidon day. We live and learn. well, I have some kind of life...

It was nice to wear a short sleeved top today. Kept the bib tights on though as I'd worn them on Thursday evening and Mrs S would kill me if I'd put a pair of tights and shorts to the wash...

Been suffering from an Ocular Migraine since getting home. Not nice.
Legend in my own Mind


Exmoor Beauty Sportive tomorrow. Feeling a little apprehensive for some reason, i have one nemesis hill that i hate.
What to wear..what to wear.
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


I did manage the April Fondo today, also ticked the Camridgeshire box properly, and - in so far as it is an actual county - ticked off Huntingdonshire as well. I go by the historic ones officially and like Scotland and Wales, Huntingdonshire was a real thing once.

I say "properly" because I was never quite convinced that I went to actual Cambridgeshire when I did it last year.

Anyway - briefly, 135.59 miles, lovely day, mostly a rewarding new route. But I'll write more about it tomorrow I'm sure.


As some readers may remember, I have a plan to perform round trips to as many English counties as possible. I did an impromptu run out to Cambridgeshire and back last year - I'd actually intended to go no further than Melton Mowbray, but I extended my ride to Stamford, and from there realised I couldn't be far from Cambridgeshire - so I located a village called Helpston with the aid of Google Maps on my phone, and rode there.

But on returning home and scrutinising the various map sites on a proper computer, I wasn't quite satisfied that I'd done the job properly. Helpston is in what's understood as Cambridgeshire today, but in historic terms, it was part of Northamptonshire. So for quite a while, I've intended to redo the Cambridgeshire task.

Conditions looked good for the first 100+ miler of the year, so at 0635 yesterday, I set off on the Planet X for Cambridgeshire proper. I'd planned a route that would also take in a village in historic Huntingdonshire, to add another county to the list. Huntingdonshire actually only exists as a historic county, in the present day. It was absorbed by Cambridgeshire at some point.

I set off a little later than I'd intended. I like to allow 10mph overall for a long run, so (for example) if I've done the first 20 miles in 90 minutes, I think of that as 30 minutes in the bank for rest stops.  11 or 12mph would probably be more realistic, but the mental arithmetic is harder.

But the 10mph strategy would still see me back before sundown, so I wasn't too bothered.

The first 21 miles of the route I chose are the same as my Northamptonshire route, which I've done a few times now. These take me down through Ibstock, Desford and Enderby, before slicing through the southern outskirts of Leicester, and out into the country again. One nice thing about this part of the route is the abundance of available benches - every village has at least one, along that route. Not that useful over the first couple of hours of a cycling trip, but handy if coming back the same way.

I noticed a bright pink pair of panties by the roadside, not long after Ibstock, just three miles into my journey. An inexplicable phenomenon, but surely a good omen.

I was excited to turn left instead of right once I hit Welford Road, as from that point the roads were all new to me. Not long after this, I found myself pedalling through a delightful country park of some sort, at a place called Wistow. This would have been perfect for cycling except for a number of cobbled obstacles on the road, and two cattle grids. The cattle grids were particularly unpleasant to ride over. I suspect that the intention of the cobbled bits is to slow cyclists down - I can't imagine they'd have much impact on a car.

I continued on through a nice village called Kibworth Harcourt, and onto the A6. Cycling relatively busy A roads is not really my thing, but as a means to an end, it wasn't too bad. I only had 6 miles of it to do. Actually the worst thing about it wasn't the traffic, but the couple of miles of road surface along that stretch, which was surprisingly rough. Just to the north-east of Market Harborough, I turned onto the A427, and that was actually quite delightful - well-surfaced, surprisingly quiet and nice views. My route then took me through Corby, where I stopped at a garage with a little supermarket for supplies. I must admit, I bought too much food there and ended up bringing some of it home with me, including a cheesecake in a tub. I ate a bag of quavers, a sandwich and an almond croissant before remounting the bike.

Through Corby town centre and out into the country again. In East Northamptonshire, I passed an airfield that had been used by the USAAF 401st Bombardment Group, with a plaque and the Stars and Stripes flying next to the Union Jack. This part of the ride, between Corby and Oundle was terrific - post-apocalyptically quiet, decently surfaced and beautifully scenic, especially just west of Oundle.

Onto the A605 - again, not a lot of fun but no great hardship; only three miles. Then left into Elton, a quiet and pretty little village in what used to be the county of Huntingdonshire. Then after a few miles, through the dismally urban centre of Peterborough and after missing a turn (I recovered after half a mile or so) to the Cambridgeshire border, where I took the following exceptionally poor photograph with my phone.

I pedalled over into Cambridge for a few metres, then came back the way I came. Near Oundle, I saw something I don't think I've ever seen before - a bird of prey attacking another bird. It had a couple of goes at it - its intended victim was biggish black bird of some sort, maybe a rook or crow - but after a couple of intended interceptions and collisions, it seemed to give up and they flew off in different directions. I'd thought it was a buzzard but a minute later I saw what I'm sure was a kestrel on the ground, by the side of the road - so maybe it was another one of those.

I stopped at a roadside bench at a little village called Upper Benefield not long after this, and refuelled. A cheese and onion roll, a flapjack, a couple of boiled sweets. Four miles later, approaching Corby, I stopped at a large Starbucks and had a cheese and mushroom croissant and a massive (I asked for 'medium') coffee. Shortly after this I started to feel a bit queasy.

Back through Corby, back along the A427 and onto the A47. The A6 was busier than it had been in the morning, but tolerable.

Unfortunately, not long after the 100 mile mark, I started to develop a pain just above both knees. This made the rest of the ride home a bit of a struggle. I coped with it by stopping and resting every 6 or 7 miles, which seemed to help.

Interestingly after I stopped for an off-road wee at a location with nowhere to sit, standing around for a few minutes and stretching my legs seemed to help more than sitting down, and the knees seemed to improve a little.

A bit of a worry though, as I haven't had that before. I've done 179 miles on the same bike, with the same setup, without a problem. Maybe it was because I hadn't been on a bike for a week before I set off? Perhaps wearing tights for the whole ride had something to do with it? It was colder than I'd have liked in the morning, but I could have taken them off after the first few hours. I suppose the resistance of the material must make your legs work a little bit harder.

Looking through my old activities on Strava - although the Norfolk trip was longer than this one, with more climbing overall, it did have a long (60 mile) stretch in the middle with no climbing. The Wales trip, although longer, had less climbing than this one.

Not sure if it's muscular, or a joint inflammation. I can still feel it in my legs today, that's for sure. I'm quite encouraged that I had it in both knees though as it tends to suggest that it's something I've done to them rather than something inherently wrong.

I was glad to get back to the garage at 19:35, thirteen hours after I'd set off and well before sunset.

Very good run out overall. Perfect weather for it - hazy sunshine and light cloud, not windy. I took warmish clothing for the first few hours and stuffed my top layer into my backpack at about 1pm. And three commentary football games on 5 Live was the icing on the cake. I was quite surprised by the longevity of the three AAA batteries I'd equipped my personal DAB. I didn't switch it on until 8AM, but they lasted the entire ride after that.

I'd love to do that quiet stretch near Oundle again, if I can work out a viable route that doesn't involve the A6. I certainly don't feel a need to go back into Peterborough again, though.

My next county target is Gloucestershire. Interestingly, once again, the historic Gloucestershire is not quite what's understood as Gloucestershire in the present day. I will aim for a destination that's in both the present-day and historic versions.

For those interested, possibly none of you, the following site gives maps of the 'historic' counties which I regard as canonical for the purposes of this exercise.


Old Counties Good, New Counties bad :)

Managed a ride of about a 100 miles less than young Slim did yesterday. It was pleasant enough for the first hour, even though it was back to a long sleeved jersey. Then it started to rain. I had expected it, it was on the rainfall radar, but it didn't look too heavy. It was by the time it reached me. The raindrops were huge to start off with and looking at the rainfall radar since getting home it looks as if all the showers beefed up just south of CHesterfield - right where I was. Lucky old me :)

I think I saw my first swallow of the "summer" today, once dashed across the road just in front of me. Yesterday I saw and heard plenty of Curlew, plus Lapwing and Skylark.
Legend in my own Mind


did a 50 miler on sat, then a 20k sprint with a mate yesterday who is getting ready for a sprint triathlon . very enjoyable
The new songs are an abomination