Cycling - 2

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

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 5 Guests are viewing this topic.


Had the day off today so last night I decided I'd go for a ride. My intention was to do a not too strenuous two to three hours. Anyway, by the time I'd done the chores that neded to be done I had too little time to make a proper ride of it so I decided to do my 20 mile 'time trial' route.
My lungs were burning early on but eased a bit after 10 miles or so when they began to inflate properly. I was quite pleased with my efforts on some sections where I managed to maintain some credible speed. However. I only managed to average 18.8mph which I was a little disappointed with. I would have been happy if I'd have got into the nineteens. Musn't be too hard on myself, I suppose....I've done hardly any cycling this year.
Weather was perfect with considerably lower temps than yesterday and the fact that it was overcast helped. Slight breeze from the southwest neither helped nor hindered.
Glad I got out as Sunday looks a little grim so may have to cry off. Looking forward to late afternoon in the beer garden with the wife sharing a bottle of wine and two for one fish & chips!


Left work at 4:30pm yesterday. The forecast threatened light rain at about 7pm, but I wanted to get about 35 miles in. I took the Boardman, partly because of the threat of precipitation and partly because I'd noticed yesterday that the rear Disraeli is slightly loose on the hanger - the Allen bolt is nice & tight but there's a little bit of play, as though a washer is missing.

I had no idea how or when this happened but wanted to check things, in case it's a recent turn of events. As it turns out, the rear gears are still changing up and down very nicely. I'm guessing it's probably something that's gradually worn loose over time. Perhaps I'll swap it out next time I replace the chain.

Anyway - I did a Twycross. I sort of wish I'd done something a bit more interesting as the weather looks rubbish for a few days and of course the daylight hours are shrinking now, but I just defaulted to my usual route. Conscious that I'd been a bit unimaginative, as I neared the turn to Ratcliffe I decided to keep on going down across the border into Warwickshire, and to Atherstone. I've been down through Atherstone a few times but to get back on the usual track from there you have to negotiate a cobbled stretch. I didn't fancy doing that again so I pulled up short of the town centre and with the help of Google Maps, negotiated a short cut, along a road called St George's Rd. A brief suburban interlude.

Back onto Atherstone Rd from there and along Mythe Lane, Atterton Lane as usual. I thought of trying another detour ten minutes later as I pushed along Fenn Lanes, perhaps to take in Stoke Golding - but I was unsure whether I'd have to negotiate steep climbs, and I didn't fancy that. I must check that later, for future reference.

Back home the usual way except that I pressed on to Burgoland and approached Heather through Swepstone, rather than along Newton Road. That gave me a bit more distance and avoided a tedious hill south of Heather.

Very nice to be out in very light clothing, a short-sleeved top and shorts. Warm, certainly. And yet I spent a lot of the ride feeling grateful that it was so much cooler than the previous day. I felt a few pinpricks of moisture descend from the sky shortly after I left the house but that only persisted for about ten minutes. The last half hour of the ride was blighted by light, spotting rain. Apart from that it was dry.

I managed to break the Boardman's mirror recently, and trialled a new one on this ride - a more upmarket model by Cateye, pictured below slightly out of focus.

I didn't have high hopes because the mirror surface is closer to the centre line, hence I thought the rear view would be obscured by my right thigh. But in practice it works really well, perhaps because it's slightly convex. The internal clamp that expands into the bar is very solid so it's highly secure, and the reflected image is very steady. The only bummer is that it's a little bit heavier. I'd be loath to fit one to one of the lighter bikes.

I was passed by a beautful E-Type Jag on the road to Twycross. Red, in near showroom condition.

So anyway - that's another 35.38 miles in the bag, which takes me to 279 this month and 2140 this year.


Well, that was all a lot cooler than my Thursday evening ride, 15C as against 30C. Makes things a lot nicer. Although the weather forecast made it look like I might not get out today. I could have got up early this morning, but hey, it's Saturday, and having had virtually no sleep in the heat of Thursday night, I needed to catch up on some shut-eye.

Misogynist that I am, I like my best Strava segment times to be better than the best woman's time. This can be a bit of a challenge as the women's tour has come round my way a few times and I will grudgingly accept that a professional female cyclist will be quicker than me. There are also a couple of female pro cyclists based in Sheffield, so they set decent times out in the Peak District. Today though, I set my sights on Long Lane where I was 6 seconds of the distaff pace. YES!!!!!! GET IN THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm now 6 seconds quicker :) It's these little things that keep me borderline sane.
Legend in my own Mind


Another miserable day again today. The back edge of the rain just never got any closer, it kept forming over and over again. So, to make sure I reached the Strava distance challenge for July I just did the standby ride up and down the local hill. Then a quick ride out to a roundabout and setting a KOM on the way back.
Legend in my own Mind


Fair play to the weather forecasters. They predicted a weekend of constant rain followed by a dry, warm, sunny Monday - and that's exactly what happened. I withdrew the Boardman from the garage not long before 6pm last night.

I'd planned another hybrid route, stitching together the first 12 miles of the route down to Stoney Stanton to the first 20-odd of the Twycross route by means of a brief jaunt west along Bosworth Road, from Kirkby Mallory. The Twycross route part would be performed in reverse, therefore.

Perfect cycling weather, and although I'd wrapped up a bit too warm to guard against the temperature dropping later on, I wasn't uncomfortable. The dismal urban stretch through Ellistown and Bagworth at the tail end of the rush hour was well invested for the opportunity to pedal along the quiet rural part down through Newbold Verdon to Kirkby Mallory. Hung a right from there to Sutton Cheney on my usual Twycross route, then backwards along Fenn Lanes.

Unfortunately, when I got to Witherley, I was confronted by this:

So I consulted Google Maps. A brief diversion along the A5 into Atherstone was necessary, but only for a few hundred yards. A couple of minutes out of Atherstone though, I arrived at another watery obstacle:

I tried carrying the bike round it, but it was too deep. I was genuinely about to remove my socks and cycling shoes, stuff them up my jersey and wade through it as I believed I was out of options at that point, but I checked Google Maps again anyway. To my relief, it turned out that I'd missed a turn and didn't need to be crossing the River Anker at that point in the first place. So I backtracked 1/3 of a mile and took the correct turn along St George's Rd.

Up from there through Sheepy, Twycross, Snarestone, Swepstone, Heather and home.

I was out later than I'd intended due to my enforced orienteering adventures and the daylight started to diminish quite quickly after Twycross. But I had a decent rear light and a head torch. Sadly the strap on my new head torch didn't quite want to stretch round my helmet, but I cocked my helmet back a bit and it fitted quite snugly on my forehead. I was quite pleased with it; a nice bright light on the road ahead and enough scattered light to be able to read a watch or the dashboard instruments without pointing the beam. Rechargeable. The only annoying thing is that it lights up little flies and midgies right in front of your face, and at one point near Swepstone they were coming at me like stars on the viewscreen when the Enterprise goes to warp speed.

Anyway that turned out to be fun in the end although I wasn't home until about 10pm. 39.71 miles and that's 319 this month; 2180 this year.

Must remember to avoid the area around Mythe Lane when it's been raining for a couple of days.


Check out the last 30 seconds of this video:

If that happened to me, I'd kill 50 of them in retaliation. Might be quite a diverting hobby.


Managed to get out for 40 minutes tonight to finish off July's cycling.
Finished up with my highest monthly total of 859 miles, beating last July's 858
Did my highest monthly elevation gain of 73,871ft, beating May's 68,533ft (Last July was 53,945 ft)
Legend in my own Mind


Didn't think I'd get another one in this month, but early this afternoon the forecasters withdrew their threat of rain this evening and by the time I unloosed my wage slave shackles, the roads were mostly dry. Unfortunately just before I set off, the forecasters reinstated their threat. But it was supposed to be short-lived light rain, so I withdrew the Boardman and off I set.

I was annoyed to see that I hadn't turned the rear light off last time, so it had been blinking away for about 48 hours. But it was still going strong.

Cooler than of late and I wore a couple of long-sleeved layers up top and tights which kept me comfortable quite nicely.

Predictably, I did a Twycross, down to Ratcliffe Culey where I turned eastward the old way through Sibson to avoid the watery unpleasantness near the Anker, a bit further south. I decided to take a short cut to Fenn Lanes along Upton Lane, but on a whim - regular readers will know that I'm highly prone to them - I kept going straight instead of taking a right along Stoke Rd. I was vaguely sure that doing so would take me to Bosworth through Shenton. And I was right.

About four miles from home, the usual way from Bosworth, the rain started quite abruptly. Not heavy, but sharp and persistent. Fortunately it only lasted about 10 minutes.

Decided (another whim) to take a detour through Ibstock from Heather, haven't done that for a long time. I get tired of Heather Lane and it can be a bit muddy in the wet.

That's 31.28 and 350 this month.

As things stand I'd only have 789 miles to do to reach my 2019 target of 3000 miles, so I've notched it up to 3600.  I suppose 4000 isn't out of the question.


Bought myself some new Muddyfox cycling shoes, same as the other pair I have but white instead of yellow.

My Shimanos are still going strong, but I left the yellow Muddyfox pair up in Hartlepool with the other Boardman, so I didn't have a spare pair. I don't actually like white cycling shoes and I'm sure they'll look filthy in no time, but they were £4 cheaper than the yellow ones.

They came with cleat bolts. I've put cleats on using my usual strategy of genuine Shimano for the left, Chinese copy for the right. I always apply copper grease to the bolts first.

The Old Dog

Quote from: Slim on July 30, 2019, 10:27:47 amSo I consulted Google Maps. A brief diversion along the A5 into Atherstone was necessary, but only for a few hundred yards. A couple of minutes out of Atherstone though, I arrived at another watery obstacle:

I probably would have used the crown of the road as that doesn't look that bad, obviously you were in a better position to judge ,but as I suspect the bike doesn't have guards fitted fair enough ..


I did attempt to sidestep it, but there wasn't a route through on either side that was less than ankle deep. That's actually the River Anker; the border between Warwickshire and Leicestershire at that point.


A couple of years back, the women's tour of Britain had a stage which started and finished in Chesterfield. A couple of years back, I tried riding it. I had to cut it short as I'd set out too late. Today, I finally did it! Hoorah! 

Comparing my time with that of the lady riders for the actual course, I'd have finished about an hour and ten minutes behind them. Of course they had strength in numbers, but they didn't have to contend with traffic lights and stopping at junctions and being passed by busses which then stopped immediately at bus stops, meaning I then had to stop and wait.

It was Belper Pride day today too. All a bit excessive for the only gay in the village, but I'm sure he would have appreciated it.

So, that was a nice 87 miles with 7,327ft of climbing, my most ever on one ride.
Legend in my own Mind


August 03, 2019, 22:53:17 pm #3567 Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 22:57:38 pm by Slim
Beautiful day today, and although the Meteorological Office had forecast rain for the early evening, they had withdrawn their threat by this morning. So I consumed a leisurely breakfast, donned my cycling clothing and went to withdraw the Cannondale from the garage.

When I got there though I felt a certain guilt that I'm not using the Spesh as often as I should, so I decided to take that one instead. As it happens, at that point I'd actually done less miles this year on the Cannondale than the Spesh. I've just checked the stats. But I took the Spesh anyway.

The plan was to head out East toward Grimstone, a sort of variation on the old Belvoir Castle / Melton route, but not as far. I hoped to do about 45. I intended to use the new variation of the route that bypasses Rempstone and Wymeswold to the south. And that's what I did.

This new variation is much more enjoyable and interesting. I've done the old Rempstone - Wymeswold version many times heading over to Lincolnshire, or to Melton but I don't see myself using it again. I haven't quite got the hang of it yet though and I took a wrong turn just after Stanford. I was pretty sure I was on the wrong road about half a mile later, and shortly afterwards found myself about to enter Loughborough, which confirmed it. Still - no matter, after I'd backtracked to the correct route I'd only added 1.5 flat miles. Passed a hospitable-looking pub at Burton on the Wolds and decided I'd have lunch there on the way back. A few miles later at the intersection of Six Hills Lane and Paddy's Lane, having done about 24 miles, I turned back.

Ordered a San Miguel and a sandwich with chips at the pub, after fastening the bike to a railing with my high-tech reinforced plastic tie pseudo-lock. Quite impressed with the food there, I'll definitely do this one again.

Really enjoyed that one, the lunch interval made it feel like a proper run out.

Annoyingly my Garmin watch saved the track and reset a few minutes after I pressed "pause" at the pub, to stop it recording my clogging around between the bar and the table outside. I suppose it must have a timeout. Consequently it synced the ride to Garmin Connect, and thereby to Strava, as two tracks. I deleted them from Strava, concatenated them and reposted the track as a single ride.

Looking forward to doing that again one weekend soon. Will hope to go a little further next time. My knees are complaining slightly now but they didn't give me any trouble during the ride; I did take it very easy though.

I wrapped up a bit too warm unfortunately. If I'd taken my lightweight backpack I could have stowed away the top layer, but I didn't. Still - rather too warm than too cold. We'll all be getting cold fingers and toes again in a few weeks.

47.04 miles, 2258 this year. Per-bike distances for 2019 so far are:


After yesterday's exertions, I just had a gentle spin out today. OK, so I still got in my 80ft of climbing per mile, but up more moderate slopes and I took it steadily. They're starting to bring in the crops up on the tops, which seems a bit early to me, but I think it's the Oats that are being harvested at the moment. I wouldn't expect the Barley to be brought in until the end of August. I saw some sort of Harrier over one field, but couldn't see clearly enough for a chance to evaluate further.
There was also a cow loose in the road at one point, but thankfully not the way I was going. I could see these cars slowing down and thought it might have been for cyclists, but car drivers wouldn't have left that much room. As I got closer I could see someone trying to shepherd the cow back into a field.
I also managed to time it right with the weather today, just catching the back end of a heavy downpour instead of getting caught in it fully. Today's 43 miles took me to my highest ever weekly tally of 225 miles.
Legend in my own Mind


Quote from: Slim on August 03, 2019, 22:53:17 pm

Just realised I cocked that up by never adding the other Boardman to the list. Actual figures are: