Author Topic: Cycling - 2  (Read 80286 times)

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Jonners

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2865 on: March 21, 2018, 11:04:54 AM »
One of the benefits of having a smart trainer is the ERG mode on Zwift, which nicely monitors/changes the power and cadence setting for you. I do recommend at some point getting one
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Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2866 on: March 21, 2018, 20:42:22 PM »
Maybe I will at some point but I'm happy with the Kinetic at the moment; it seems to work well enough with Zwift.

Happily conditions were good enough this afternoon for the ultimate realistic road cycling experience, ie cycling on a road. Dug out the Boardman yet again (I'm going to wear it out!) and did a Twycrosser of 28.81 miles distance, although Strava only allowed 28.80 (why the discrepancy I wonder?). Not too cold. A bit blowy, but not enough to be annoying. Very nice run out, back at about 6:15 while it was still light.

Picked up a couple of spots of rain a mile from home so put my foot down, but it didn't start to actually rain.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1464636489

Glad to get a proper run out again.

The forecast for Saturday is dry at the moment, earlier it was showers. But who knows what it'll be by Friday? If it's showers again I'll probably suck it up and do a Fondo.

Still only 81 this month.

Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2867 on: March 22, 2018, 20:20:44 PM »
Wrote a longish post about today's ride, then the TNMS server ate it.

Anyway. Nice run out after work. Not too cold, a bit windy, dry. 27.99 miles.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1466253928

Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2868 on: March 24, 2018, 10:58:26 AM »
The forecast has worsened, so I won't be doing a Fondo today. Perhaps tomorrow. Might go out for a shorter one later if the roads dry up.

But I did get a ride in after work last night. Didn't manage to down tools until after 5, but the daylight hours are stretching out nicely and I didn't need to turn on the more powerful front light until 6:50pm or so. Clocks go forward tonight of course and the weather should improve. Happy days.

Bizarrely, I missed the left turn into Ratcliffe Culey. I can't really account for this. I missed a turn on the most oft-pedalled version of my default route, in broad daylight. So I found myself back on Sheepy Road, scratching my head, after 13 miles. I had a dinner engagement later in the evening and not much time to fanny around, so I decided to return home the way I came for 26 miles, which would do nicely in the available time.

However when I got to Sheepy I took an opportunity to take a right turn and perform the latter part of one of the shorter Twycross routes. Stopped for a couple of minutes at the Gibbet Post bench again.

Approached Snarestone via Swepstone for a change on the first part; I usually go up to Ashby first to extend the route a bit. So I hadn't been that way for a while and I was interested to see that there's now an Alpaca farm just outside Snarestone, with a brand new, large wooden-built tea room. Would be a cracking rest stop for passing cyclists, but in my case it's only 5 miles from home. Opened in December, apparently.

http://alpacaparkfarm.co.uk/index.php/2017/12/02/the-grand-opening/

Decent weather, not exactly spring-like but dry.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1468568416

Nïckslïkk2112

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2869 on: March 24, 2018, 18:23:29 PM »
I certainly won't be Fondoing this month, my legs haven't got it in them after missing out on rides in the recent inclement weather. I don't think being without a working boiler at home from Sunday to Friday - not that it's properly fixed now - did me any good either, the old lungs have been a bit crackly all week.
It was nice to get and almost do 55 miles though, I think that's my limit. I got cramp in my thighs after 44 miles, thankfully that was the start of the downhill run in, but every little upwards bump was murder!
There were still bits of snow about up on the tops, like Giants had dropped their Mister Softee ice cream from their cones. We'll see if next week brings more...

https://www.strava.com/activities/1469535388
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Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2870 on: March 24, 2018, 20:19:35 PM »
Sorry to hear Nick, hope everything's sorted soon.

Shortly after typing that last post this morning I decided that I would have a go at the March Fondo after all. Tomorrow would probably have been a better day for it but I was itching to tick the box and on closer inspection, the roads weren't that wet. And after all, I could just turn back after 20 or so if I didn't fancy the whole 62+ miles.

I quickly worked out a route that would take me westward and into Staffordshire through No Man's Heath then further west through Orgreave and Alrewas, similar to the Stafford trip I've done a couple of times, and the Wales trip from last year. However to avoid the busy roundabout over the M42, I fashioned an alternative route through a village called Norton juxta Twycross. I planned it out on bikehike.co.uk and uploaded it to my Garmin eTrex.

It was nice to do something a bit different. The roads were quiet, the scenery pleasant. But I started to become quite irritated by my selection of roads. The first, familiar 5 or so miles were fine but the 10 or so after that consisted of poor roads with rough surfaces, and it wasn't until after 16 miles that I was back on a decent surface and able get a nice cruising pace going, instead of wobbling along bumpy, uneven roads avoiding potholes, mud and excessively scrubby bits.

That's something I must think about for the 200 miler hopefully happening later in the year.  There are some quiet and a bit isolated stretches on that one and I need to be able to get on with it without being slowed and bothered by the state of the road. Will have to have a careful look.

Anyway I zipped along quite happily along quiet, wide, well-surfaced roads until I arrived at King's Bromley, where I sighted a new Co-op. I locked the bike up outside, strolled in and selected an egg & tomato baguette, cheese & onion pasty, almond croissant and a small bar of chocolate. I took them to the counter and whipped my card out of my back pack. Unfortunately, I had thrown the wrong card from my wallet into the zip pocket of my back pack. I was about to attempt payment for my lunch with a Conservative Party membership card.

I apologised and left empty-handed. I briefly considered turning back for home there and then, but decided that my remaining food supplies - two sherbet lemons, an orange-flavoured gel, a Stoats oat bar and a cheese & onion roll - would probably suffice for the remaining 40 miles. And actually they did, I got back without opening the oat bar. At least I had plenty of liquids with me.

I did the remaining 10 miles to my ultimate target, Abbots Bromley, then turned around for home. I came back the same way. Saw a few patches of snow in ditches but it's nearly all gone.

I was back ten minutes before sunset.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1469679499

64.81 (I knocked 0.02 off for wandering round the Co-op with my GPS). Which takes me to 633 this year and within a hair's breadth of 200 this month.

I quite like that neck of the woods north of Lichfield, good cycling territory. But I'll go a different way next time.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 22:02:17 PM by Slim »

Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2871 on: March 25, 2018, 17:59:00 PM »
I emerged from my quilt at about 0900 BST this morning, drew back the curtains, and - as I surveyed the spring sunshine - regretted doing the March Fondo yesterday instead of today. So I thought bugger it, I'll do another one.

Set off two hours earlier than yesterday, at about 10:15. Three hours earlier in GMT terms, so I didn't need to take lights. I dressed a bit lighter with fewer layers on top but on the way to the garage, slightly regretted that. So to compensate, I put overshoes on, and I must say my feet were toasty all day. Warmer than necessary or perhaps even desirable, but I quite enjoyed the experience so I left them on the whole ride.

I'd had enough adventure for one weekend yesterday and couldn't be bothered plotting a route for the eTrex so I decided on a tried, trusted and memorised one, to Belvoir Castle and back. I checked their site and the tea room there was open today, raising the enticing possibility of a spot of lunch there. I carefully packed my debit card, and left my party card at home.

After 764 consecutive miles on the Boardman, I took another bike out for a change - the Planet X. This was its first time out of the garage since November.

The PX has a magnet-driven wireless bike computer, and I was slightly irritated to see the display mist up after the first mile. A sort of window of fog appeared on the inside of the clear plastic face. I assumed it would evaporate and disappear after a couple of miles, but it didn't. It persisted for hours, the last speck of moisture finally disappearing after 56 miles. I think the lesson there is not to leave them in the garage, at least in cold weather.

My bum and legs seemed to stop complaining after the first couple of miles, and I had a very nice run out in the sunshine. Stopped at my usual bench at Eastwell after 31 miles, then after a ten minute break, pressed on. I didn't go all the way to Belvoir Castle in the end. After a quick audit of supplies, I decided to turn back after another four miles. I must admit I sort of regret it now, but I thought it would give me time to do something else with my Sunday. What I should really have done is rested yesterday and got up very early today to do a 100+ miler but planning is not one of my talents.

The return leg was pretty uneventful. Rested briefly at Wymeswold, then at Belton, only 6 or 7 miles from home. Was starting to feel slightly knackered at this point. My legs really didn't want to do any more pedalling when I got up but I found that a ten minute rest and an oat bar gave them a new lease of life, and I got home without any bother. I'm certainly feeling them now though.

Despite having a proper pair of prescription cycling sunglasses now, I trialled a new pair of sunglasses, designed to fit over an existing pair of glasses. Over-glasses, if you will. They look unusually large as you might expect but actually they didn't feel cumbersome and I found them comfortable and practical over my standard varifocals.

I missed the gear indicators that I have on the Boardman. I also missed a mirror, because I'd borrowed the Planet X one for the Boardman, and forgot to put it back.

The gearing on the Planet X is quite different than the Boardman. I found I didn't actually need the outboard chainring at the front. The rear gears have an entirely adequate range of ratios in conjunction with the smaller chainring. I did use the larger chainring a few times, but only really for its own sake, or to spread the wear and tear a bit. Even without cross-chaining, the rear cogs go as high as I need.

The sky clouded over a bit over the last few miles and I started to feel a bit cold. Spring is perhaps not quite with us yet.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1471504324

66.55 miles.

Was frustrated at this month's lack of cycling opportunities but having done 214 miles in the last five days, I'm a bit happier now.

That's 266 this month, 699 this year. Surprisingly I've done 181 more miles than this time last year.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 18:48:42 PM by Slim »

Nïckslïkk2112

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2872 on: March 25, 2018, 18:29:38 PM »
That was a ride of two halves today! Or rather a bit less than a half and bit more than a half.
The first hour - apart from the Ault Hucknall climb - was a nice high speed cruise out to Cuckney, but after that I think yesterday's cycling hit my legs and they got a bit bolshy and wouldn't work when I told them to. Then from Worksop it was an incessant headwind more or less all the way home. Probably why the first hour was so enjoyable as it had the benefit of a tail wind.
Well, it's another 40 miles in the bag, about a 100 miles behind where I was this time last year. Going up Ault Hucknall hill, a Buzzard came by almost close enough for me to grab it, I didn't think I was struggling that much...
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DavidL

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2873 on: March 25, 2018, 19:28:58 PM »
42.5 miles this morning. Uneventful flat ride out to to Steventon via Abingdon. Mostly dry roads, little wind - very pleasant. Rewarded myself this afternoon with four glasses of Pinot Noir. Just settling down to Beef Bourginon followed by cherry pie and custard.

Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2874 on: March 26, 2018, 15:31:17 PM »
Definitely not cycling after work despite the extra hour of light, because my thighs hurt a bit and my bum is sore. The weather's not bad though, dry, 11 degrees and light cloud.

However I've just looked at the BBC weather forecast for my region, and from (and including) tomorrow, every day until April 4th has the rain symbol. Then after a day off, the rain starts again on April 5th.

Jonners

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Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2876 on: March 29, 2018, 15:13:18 PM »
I do like that, thanks! Ordered one.

Incidentally if you went cycling in Barbados, you wouldn't be able to wear one of those. Camo clothing is only permitted in the military.

DavidL

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Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2878 on: March 30, 2018, 15:52:55 PM »
Be inconspicuous when taking a leak just off-road.

I remember a beautiful Good Friday in my childhood when my brother, my parents and I spent the whole day in the garden, playing or relaxing on sun loungers. Today wasn't quite like that. Winter seems reluctant to leave, and even with leggings, gloves, overshoes and three layers on top I wasn't as comfortable as I'd have liked.

With rain due over this afternoon and since I'm oncall I didn't want to do a long one, but I set off on the Boardman at about 11:35, by which time the roads had dried out sufficiently from the overnight rain, to do a medium-distance Twycross run.

A few puddles so I took the Boardman. Pumped up the tyres before I left with my new track pump (I think I've left my usual one in my Mum's garage), glad to report that it works nicely. Only £10 from Tesco. A bit more compact and a handy spare for when I retrieve the other one.

Definitely felt the difference in terms of rolling resistance.

Saw a hare bound across the road in front of me a mile or two from Twycross. I watched it run halfway across a field on my right, then stop in the middle. I wondered if it was running from a fox, but by the time it had come to a halt, it didn't seem very bothered.

I've had a couple of calls out of hours this week so I was reluctant to go right down to Ratcliffe Culey. Instead I hung a left to Sibson and came back the quick way along Gibbet Lane. However as I approached Swepstone I decided to extend my ride a bit by taking a left toward Measham instead of turning right to Heather. From there I performed the latter part of my old, now long-superseded lunchtime route. One of the reasons I stopped doing that route was because a length of Swepstone Road had been resurfaced with sharp, loose gravel but it seems fine now. Just takes time, and sufficient traffic to flatten it in, I guess.

As I slogged up Alton Hill, I was overtaken comfortably by an old bloke wearing regular shoes and trousers. This startled me for a moment until I realised he had an electric motor on his bike.

31.41 and looking at the weather forecast that might be it for March; the monthly total so far is 297, with 731 done this year.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1479721085

I've been back a couple of hours and it's still not raining, perhaps I should have stayed out a bit longer.

Slim

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Re: Cycling - 2
« Reply #2879 on: March 30, 2018, 16:22:16 PM »
Oh yes and on my return to the garage, I noticed that I'd claimed another rodent life, probably last night. Quite a small and cute one this time, and the kill bar had caught it corner-on across its back. It must have been pretty quick.

I'm encouraged that these spring traps work so well. I think that's the eighth one. First one for quite a few weeks though so my strategy seems to be working quite well.

Even so, killing them makes me a bit sad. But I released the spring, dropped the corpse into a bag and reset it, ready for the next victim.