Cycling - 2

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

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Forgot to mention a wildlife sighting .. south of Bagworth a stoat (or maybe a ferret or weasel, quite a small creature anyway) dashed across the road in front of me with something pink in its teeth - a baby rat I think.


August 22, 2019, 12:12:33 pm #3586 Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 15:14:45 pm by Slim
I had been thinking of attempting a Fondo yesterday. But two factors conspired to deter me from doing that. Firstly, I had debilitated the condition of my knees slightly by walking for three or four miles in Derby on Tuesday, then attending a standing-only gig in Leicester a few hours later. Secondly I had another gig to go to last night involving a drive to Wolverhampton so I didn't have that much time, and I didn't want to be bopping at the front of the stage with sore patellar tendons, either.

But it was a nice day, certainly. I hadn't been out on a bike since Monday. So I thought I'd do the pub at Burton on the Wolds and back, which would give me about 36 miles. I took the X.

Wanted to see if I could make it there without referring to a map, and I did. Pleased to have got that one down as it's a useful route for longer trips out east. Had to ignore a "road closed" warning to get there, though. But when I got to the roadworks at Normanton on Soar it was easy enough to bypass them using the path at the side of the road.

I arrived at the pub at about 11:20 as things turned out which was about 40 minutes before it was due to open - as usual I hadn't really planned or thought about it properly - so I kept on going for another six miles or so, past Six Hills. Then I turned back. A very pleasant lunch at the pub consisting of a ham & coleslaw ciabatta, chips and a half San Miguel followed. Annoyingly I couldn't get Google Pay on  my phone to work, but I'd brought a debit card as a backup. I must fix that.

Bit of a headwind on the way back. I listened to Mark Lewisohn's Beatles bio again. Home on 48.29 miles.

Despite the previous day's walking and gigging activities, my knees did really, encouragingly well. I have to wonder if walking them is actually beneficial. They held up nicely at the gig last night as well. I'll definitely do a Fondo before I'm back at work on Tuesday.

Annoyingly during a lapse of concentration turning left at the lights at Zouch near the Nottinghamshire border, I scuffed my front rim on the edge of the pavement slightly. Nothing I could really describe as damage happened, but the black painted braking surface now has a small scuffed silver patch. I suppose that will wear down my left brake pad a bit quicker.

Having said that though - I have yet to wear down a brake pad. I've probably done at least 10,000 miles on the Boardman but all four brake pads seem to have plenty of life in them.

The carbon rims on the Spesh have a weirdly ridged 'Exalith' braking surface which is supposed to wear normal brake pads down twice as quick, and you're supposed to use extra-durable brake pads with them. They also make a conspicuous "weeeeeeeee!" noise when you apply the brakes.

321 this month which is over target, and 2532 done this year.


Quote from: Slim on August 22, 2019, 12:12:33 pmHaving said that though - I have yet to wear down a brake pad. I've probably done at least 10,000 miles on the Boardman but all four brake pads seem to have plenty of life in them.

Close, but no cigar .. just checked my records and the Boardman has 9828 miles on the clock.


August 23, 2019, 20:48:45 pm #3588 Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 22:24:45 pm by Slim
Lovely summer weather and I thought I'd have a crack at a Fondo today. Decided to head out east using the new route that bypasses the old route via Normanton, Stanford then Burton on the Wolds, before rejoining it at Six Hills - but this time I'd go further along to a village called Eastwell, which has a very serviceable bench and used to be my last rest spot before Belvoir Castle and Lincolnshire.

I'd planned to take the S Works but when I got to the garage, I remembered that it only has a single bottle cage. I'd brought a dummy bottle 'pod' with me containing a gel, small pork pies and an oat bar. So I shrugged my shoulders and readied the X instead. But after a minute I chastised myself for being idle, and fitted a second bottle cage to the S Works. I used two nylon nuts as spacers to prevent the bottle cage rubbing the frame. Possibly being a bit precious, there.

Set off at 09:18. Feeling a bit cool at first in lightweight clothing but not too uncomfortable and I knew I'd be too warm later anyway. Took the lower elevation, shorter and partially urban route to Belton for the first six miles, through Coalville and Whitwick.

And I was having a splendid time listening to a discussion about Brexit on Adrian Chiles' 5 Live programme, interspersed with occasional bad news from Headingley, when on the 25 mile mark along Six Hills Lane I noticed that my right shoe was slopping about in the pedal slightly. So I stopped to check, and yep - the cleat was loose. All three bolts were present and correct but all three had worked themselves slightly loose.

Naturally, I didn't have an Allen key on me. I parked the bike up against a signpost, sat on the grass verge and managed to tighten them back down with the tip of my thumb. Well, "tighten" is not really the appropriate word there. I screwed them in but clearly they weren't very tight and I was sure they'd work themselves free over a few miles. The cleat started shifting back and forth again after another two miles. I kept going for a bit, until I was just 5 miles from Eastwell and thumb-turned them in again.

Stopped at the bench at Eastwell, having done 31.5 miles. I found a small stone under the bench that looked like it might give a bit more leverage in the hex sockets of the cleat bolts, and it did. I managed to get them a bit tighter then after a gel and a pork pie, turned for home.

Sadly my caveman stone tool repair wasn't that successful and I felt the cleat come a bit loose again three or four miles later. But I was fairly confident by now that the bolts wouldn't work themselves completely loose and I wasn't having any difficulty pedalling, so I relaxed a bit and got on with it. I stopped and thumb-tightened them again every seven miles or so.

Stopped at the Greyhound at Burton on the Wolds and fuelled up with San Miguel and a Brie & red pepper Ciabatta with chips. I was slightly irritated by a bloke sitting a few feet behind me with his mate, who had what I call fecking Tourettes. Now I don't mind swearing, in fact I do it myself quite regularly. But it should be used for emphasis, not like punctuation. This poor bloke couldn't get five words out without one of them being "fecking", very few of these instances adding anything to the meaning of what he was saying. The forum software has modified what I typed there, of course.

Came back through Coleorton rather than Thringstone over the last few miles, to avoid a steep climb there.

Knees started to feel a bit tender after 55 miles or so, and I think I can call that progress. The right one especially is a bit sore now. But it will get rested tomorrow and it probably won't do more than 30 on Sunday.

I edited the track to remove the section where I was walking around the pub car park before uploading to Strava and noticed a bizarre anomaly - the Garmin watch had recorded two track points more than 1km off the actual track, and a straight line of track points at a perpendicular to it. Strange. I edited that out as well, but this is from the original track:

Definitely caught the sun. Sharp tan lines, especially on my right wrist where I had a sweatband on. My watch has left a pale patch on the other wrist.

63.7 miles. I hope to do a Fondo every month going forward. 385 this month.


August 24, 2019, 22:32:42 pm #3589 Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 22:34:24 pm by Nïckslïkk2112
One of the things I intended doing this year was cycling over to Macclesfield, so I could do the Cat and Fiddle - deffo not to go visit my brother - I had pencilled it in for today, being as my legs should be well acclimatised to climbing. However, I am not acclimatised to Hot Weather and today was too hot.

So today I just went out and tackled the usual stuff. I did manage to do the descent from Stanage to the Bamford Road which I'd only ever gone up before and I did manage to divert off route and find a new climb. Which was nice. I got a bit fed up of coming across groups of walkers just spread out across the single lane roads. I could shout some good abuse at them though, as many of them were Japanese or Chinese - I think they come for the Jane Eyre connection at North Lees Hall.

At the bottom of the Froggatt climb, I had to overtake a couple of cyclists. I didn't want to, but they were going the same speed as I wanted to be going at, but I didn't want to be accused of being a wheel sucker, so I stuck in a power spurt and hoped they wouldn't catch up with me. They didn't but it caught up with my legs as the top half was a slogathon.

It must have been warm today as my Saturday weigh-in had me down at just under 11 stone. Not been that low for about 40 years!
Legend in my own Mind


I'm also at a record level of thinness. I was happy when I got my weight down to 76kg from its Christmas pinnacle of 80. But without particularly trying to, I've kept going and now I'm a bit under 71kg. My clothes don't fit me any more. 32 inch waist jeans are too big for me. I started drinking occasionally again but I'm still not touching chocolate (except rarely), cheese & onion rolls or pasties and I don't often do dessert now save the occasional yoghurt or an indulgence at a restaurant, so I suppose that must be it.

I never have been overweight in my life and I could probably do with putting a kilo or two back on. But that would be perverse for someone who likes to swap out skewers and stem bolts for titanium ones to save a bit of weight.


August 25, 2019, 17:49:24 pm #3591 Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 17:58:56 pm by Slim
Fancied a good old-fashioned Twycrosser today, so that's what I did. I took the X. The weather forecast threatened a hot day so I went early to minimise my exposure to the worst of it. Made sure my cleat bolts were nice and tight, and left at about 10:30.

I didn't want to push my luck with a longer ride, and it was too hot anyway. On top of that I was woken last night by a bat doing laps of our bedroom ceiling at 3AM and a bit tired. It left of its own accord (unless it's still hiding in there) a few minutes later but not before freaking me out slightly.

Took the detour to Orton between Twycross and Sheepy.

Rather than listening to 5 Live on a DAB radio, I opted to test a small MP3 player I'd bought a few years ago, but hadn't used for ages. I thought the internal battery might be stuffed. This turned out to be a bit inconvenient as it was very difficult to navigate to the tunes I wanted - it doesn't have a screen so you pretty much just have to scroll through everything. I ended up listening to a load of Robert Plant solo stuff I'd put on there years ago and while there are a few gems, I must admit that overall I was getting sick of Robert's 1950s rock'n'roll schtick with the slapback echo on the vocals.

The MP3 player did great though, the battery lasted the whole ride and was still going strong when I switched it off half an hour after I got back. It weighs almost nothing so would be useful for extending DAB life on a long ride, or as a backup.

Baking hot by 1pm or so, and I was wearing long sleeves to protect my already-sunburned arms. Took this pic three miles from home at a farm near Heather.

Very happy to report that my knees did fine, despite doing ~64 miles on Friday.

34.33 miles, 419 this month.


August 25, 2019, 22:52:53 pm #3592 Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 22:55:17 pm by Nïckslïkk2112
Egad, it was even warmer today. At least I've put some weight back on, think I kept myself better hydrated today, plus I weighed myself after eating. I normally only weigh myself on a Saturday, but thought I'd just check again today. I'd say eleven and a half stone is where I aim to be, but by the end of the Summer it's nearer eleven and at the start of the year nearer twelve.

Mrs S says I should get up at six when the weather's hot to go out and ride, but I don't believe that time in a morning exists.

I did think I'd taken it nice and steadily today to avoid too much heat stress, yet I managed a higher than usual average speed than normal for that ride. Must have been down to there being light winds for once.
Legend in my own Mind


Quote from: Slim on August 25, 2019, 17:49:24 pmI didn't want to push my luck with a longer ride, and it was too hot anyway. On top of that I was woken last night by a bat doing laps of our bedroom ceiling at 3AM and a bit tired. It left of its own accord (unless it's still hiding in there) a few minutes later.

Not long after typing this post I decided to check the bedroom just to make sure, and I found it clinging to the back of the curtains. I managed to coax it into a decently large, well-ventilated container by placing the body of the container over it and manouevring the lid underneath. It was a tiny little thing; a Pipistrelle I think.

I left it alone for a few hours, then just after dusk, took it into the garden and removed the container so it was sitting on the lid. It didn't seem to want to go anywhere. I was slightly concerned I must admit because I didn't particularly want to take it back into the house, but didn't want to leave it at the mercy of the neighbourhood cats either. Fortunately it took flight very suddenly about a minute later, and disappeared round the top of the house.


Lovely ride this morning. Took it easy, because of the heat (16.8mph av). Was actually a lot more pleasant than I expected and we managed 42.6 miles.
Had a new chain, cassette and rear mech cable fitted since last outing. The transmission was as smooth as silk. Not sure whether running-in is necessary as I don't believe it could be better - well pleased!


Hoorah for Bank Holidays! I get to go out on a Monday!!
Is that so good after two days of riding in the hot weather though?
Probably not and I left it until the hottest part of the afternoon to go out again too, although it wasn't quite as warm as yesterday and there was just a nice hint of breeze.
Even though I was taking it very steadily, I still managed to set some best segment times. Some on segments I ride regularly. Must be some sort of cumulative fitness effect.
Felt extremely hungry this evening, so instead of the usual 12 plain chocolate digestives I would treat myself to after a ride like that I've had 12.
Legend in my own Mind


Actually cycled this weekend, back feeling a bit better! And what a lovely spin out, ended up having a coffee at the Lazy Days Cafe in Brewood, strongly recommend going there, lots of cyclists and pretty serving wenches
The new songs are an abomination


Bought some wheels

Shimano R9100 Dura-Ace C24-CL

Super reviews, reduced to £700 on Evans, then another 10% off as well, so £630

The new songs are an abomination


After a couple of days of conspicuous consumption, it was time to get back in the saddle again!

I had considered making my attempt on the Cat and Fiddle, but the prospect of riding out into a headwind for 35 miles put me off. Possible rain didn't help either. I think I'll put that back to next year now.

What I did do today, being as there was the prospect of a tailwind was climb No.35 on the Official 100 best climbs: Curbar Edge. All of 1.1 miles with an elevation gain of 598ft for a 10% average. I thought it quite hard. The start is from 13-17% and was a bit of a bugger. Luckily it flattens out a bit and I made it most of the way after that in second gear! The British Universities Cycling Society used to use Curbar as the venue for their annual hill climb. People race up that? Still I was only 3:48 off the best time of 5:51, that's good enough for me.

That's August completed with my greatest ever monthly distance 883 miles and greatest monthly elevation gain 76,234ft. I'm also now over 80 miles towards my annual target of 100 miles elevation gain.
Legend in my own Mind


Strava is down ! The horror! That means I didn't actually cycle this morning.
You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!