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June 25, 2019, 02:21:57 am

Cycling - 2

Started by Dixkot, May 11, 2013, 23:27:41 pm

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The Old Dog

Had to resort to a fixed gear run to work this week ,mainly thanks the spindle grinding on the rear wheel (most likely due to all this wet weather we recently went through) ,happily I have a spare set of wheels,but no single speed feewheel on it. I'd forgotten just how strange it is to ride fixed, though it does help with your cadence and being able to go all out if you want to get somehere in a hurry though your out of puff before you realise it .
It's fine and fun if your urban commuting but I wouldn't want to do any real distance on but it would have been a lot simpler if I'd remembered to order a new freewheel in the first place  :o


Stunning day, blue skies, verdant green countryside. 23 miles down some new lanes of variable quality. Stopped a fight between a grass snake and a crow, https://www.strava.com/activities/1553227758

Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


Got out Friday evening and then Saturday and Sunday morning. About 30 kms each time. Friday evening was most noticeable for the amount of insect life around, all of it seemingly desperate to get in my mouth. Could also hear them pinging off my bike helmet.

I suppose the weather has been so poor up to very recently that there had been much occasion for them to mingle and get on with whatever it is they do. They certainly made up for lost time !
You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!


May 06, 2018, 18:47:39 pm #2958 Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 20:21:56 pm by Nïckslïkk2112
Quote from: döm on May 06, 2018, 14:53:53 pm
Friday evening was most noticeable for the amount of insect life around, all of it seemingly desperate to get in my mouth.

Think of the extra protein! Not many carbs in insects though...

Went out for a leisurely spin today. A bit warm for anything else really, especially after yesterday. Made all the more leisurely because I had to keep stopping for ambulances at the side of the road. OK so it was only twice, but that's two times more than normal on a 35 mile ride. The second time I had to stop for the Police too as it looked like they were attending a scene where somebody had driven into a lamppost.


Had a flyby today with a group who'd give Slim a run (cycle) for his money in the long distance stakes. They'd been on a 180 mile round trip from Belper to Beverley - and averaged 18.1 mph doing it, it's mainly flat, but I can only manage that speed for about an hour on my rides.
Legend in my own Mind


Yesterday I prepared my hybrid, and my other half's bike, for a leisurely outing in the sun today. I always lubricate my wife's parts before a long ride.

I'd hoped to get the gears working on the hybrid, but I didn't. I managed to get them so that I could change into all but the easiest cog at the back, and that certainly seemed good enough. I have a suspicion that it's something to do with the chain - I think it may have worn a bit too long to keep the tension at the proper level. So I took out a couple of links and that seemed to help. On the stand, anyway.

The wife's bike is so heavy that I struggled to get it onto the stand, but at least the gears are all working nicely.

A few metres after we set off today though, I noticed a conspicuous clanking sound coming from the lower part of the bike somewhere. My first thought was that something was catching on the wheel, but nope. I took it back to the garage, pulled on the cleat shoes I'd hoped to avoid wearing today and extracted the Planet X instead. I'll have a closer look at the hybrid tomorrow but I'm pretty much done with it now. I think it's quite likely to go on eBay sold as seen and needing a service.

Anyway we did a sort of modified Twycross, utilising quieter country lanes than usual and taking in beers at Ratcliffe Culey and Carlton. Beautiful weather, just the sort of day you long for when your fingers and toes are too cold, you're in several layers of winter clothing and it's starting to get dark at about 4pm.

I usually take the other half's helmet on a sunny day since it has a bit of a peak, but since she was using it today I took a peaked cap. Perhaps some will disapprove, but we were going at rather low velocities along quiet lanes. Over 14,000+ miles of cycling I haven't yet been in a situation in which a helmet was beneficial unless you count keeping my head warm. So an acceptable risk, I think.

A stretch of the road north of Bosworth has had the sharp gravel treatment. Really f'n annoying. But apart from that, rather a lovely afternoon out.

Must admit my right knee feels a little bit tender - it didn't give me any trouble during the ride, though. Probably too hot for a long ride tomorrow anyway. Quite encouraged that the left knee seems fine now.

I see that Nick and I have completed the British Cycling Ride Five Challenge, which entitles us to a free British Cycling phone pouch.

28.80 (I knocked off .03 for clogging around pubs) which brings the May tally to a half-decent 68 miles.



Well I was annoyed that my sore knee was going to cost me a Fondo on a good weather day today, but it's far too hot to go cycling here in Leics at the moment. I felt exposed just carrying shopping from the car into the house. I would honestly rather go out in pissing rain than in the current conditions. Easier to recover from than heat exhaustion and sunburn.

I might go out for 20 later on when the sun is a bit less intense.


Yes, too hot to go out here as well. Took a walk around the local reservoir and that was plenty hot enough.
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


If I'd put a Tea Bag down my shorts, I could have wrung out a raight gradely cup of tea when I got back :)
Yes, it was a bit warm out there, but the sun was shining and you've got to think of those tan lines!
I tried keeping things steady again today, which in the main I did, I think. I'm not sure it was a good idea to do the climb of Far Lane though, my regular Cutthorpe climb with a lesser average gradient would have been the better option, but I'd forgotten about the steep bits I'd discovered the only other time I'd been up it.
There was a nice breeze up on the tops, normally I'd moan about it for slowing me down, but it kept things bearable today and you really do notice that it's a couple of degrees cooler at 1,000 ft up too. Managed to get myself half way to the Strava May climbing challenge today too :)

Legend in my own Mind


Quote from: Slim on May 07, 2018, 12:02:31 pmI might go out for 20 later on when the sun is a bit less intense.

I did a bit more than 20.

I adjusted the rear Disraeli on the second Boardman - the bike trainer makes a pretty useful maintenance stand, so I didn't have to take it off - and got everything working sweetly. Later in the day, with the sun a bit less fierce, I thought I'd take it for a spin and see what it's like - it's never been out on a road before, not in my ownership anyway. So I took it off the trainer and propped it up against my car ready to mount, then remembered that it had strappy pedals on. I don't mind strapping myself in on the trainer but I don't fancy it in a situation where bike and rider are liable to keel over if I don't get my foot out in time, so I changed my mind and pulled the X out instead.

I did a very pleasant 23.99 mile version of the Twycross run, coming back through Newton Burgoland to avoid the steep hill south of Heather. Just lovely out there, warm sunshine but not too intense and with some shade from the trees lining the roads.

I popped a 200mg Ibuprofen about 25 minutes before setting off, in the hope that this would reduce or prevent any damage to my tendons by reducing the inflammation. Of course the downside of this is that it masks pain, and I'd prefer to know if I'm getting any trauma. But it should be wearing off about now and my knee feels OK - I can still feel a bit of tenderness but I don't think I've done any harm. There's a fine balance to be maintained here; I need to keep my legs reasonably well exercised but I also don't want to make things worse. But if "low intensity" cycling is beneficial then I should be OK I think. I've definitely been taking it easy.


92 this month now.

Perhaps I'll get some clippy pedals for the second Boardman (or I have I got a spare pair somewhere? I'm not sure!)

By the way a famous brand of Ibuprofen costs £1.80 for 16 x 200mg at Tesco, whereas their own brand costs 35p for 12 x 200mg.


Ventured out into Jame's backyard again yesterday morning, lovely ride. Arms are a little pink today!!!


The new songs are an abomination


Was going to rest me biscuits and cheese until the weekend at least because they still don't feel quite right, but after reading about cyclist knee problems (again) I came to the opinion that they ought to have a bit of moderate exercise so they don't stiffen up. So I went and did a short one, 16.2 miles, aiming to keep it "low intensity". Basically made up as I go along but I headed over toward Desford, which I should do more often really. Nice roads over there.

I had my closest ever near miss with an overtaking road user near Ellistown, but this time it was another cyclist.


I honestly don't know how safe it is to cycle before they're back to their knobbly best again. Might even be that a Fondo wouldn't hurt as long as the bike's set up properly. Obviously I need to stay reasonably fit. Delicate balance to be drawn. I'll just have to play it by ear.


The weather was much more conducive to cycling today than last weekend. Ten degrees cooler and just hazy sunshine, a perfect day for going out into the Peaks. Well, it would be if it weren't for the amount of traffic aimlessly driving around. Most of these folk would benefit from a bit of bicycling. It might just make them realise why I call them dickheads. But probably not.
I did think Slim's knee problems might be catching as my left knee was a bit painful when I set off, but it soon wore off. Then after my halfway Oat Bar my right knee started creaking a bit, but it soon wore off.
It's a good job today wasn't next Wednesday - as if it could be - because I went up past the Ladybower Reservoir and next Wednesday, they're having a Dambuster's celebration so it'll be pretty busy. I really ought to stop and take pictures of the pretty countryside for your enjoyment, but hey, I'm born to ride baby :)

I'm also as fair as any Rose - judging by the insane amount of Greenfly I've got stuck to me.

Legend in my own Mind


My knees seemed to have improved substantially when I got up yesterday, so I thought I'd have a go at the May Fondo. I searched my Strava activities for a 60+ miler of low elevation. Abbots Bromley and back seemed just the ticket, with long stretches of flat, decently-surfaced roads. I go over that way rarely, so it would make a nice change as well. I took the Planet X, again.

Unfortunately, between Clifton Campville and Haunton, the chain slipped off the rings at the front on the inboard side during a clumsy gear change. The X has a chain catcher which is intended to prevent this, but the chain had slipped under it. I had disposable gloves with me so I pulled them on, and set about what should have been the simple task of reintroducing the chain to the inner chainring. Annoyingly the catcher itself prevented me from doing this - it wasn't possible to get the chain up past it. After a minute or two of wrestling with it, I decided to take it off - I don't usually take a set of Allen keys with me but on this occasion I had, so that I could adjust the saddle height if necessary. But shortly after inserting the key into the nut I realised that it was intended to adjust the pitch of the catcher rather than to remove it. So I angled it back to the point where I could pull the chain back up, plonked it back on and set off again.

God knows what I'd have done if I hadn't had the Allen keys on me. I'd have been stuffed.

Missed a wrong turn at Harlaston and didn't realise until I arrived at Wigginton, a village I was sure I'd never been to before. But this turned out to be quite fortuitous, because it was perfect cycling territory. Consulted the GPX viewer app on my phone while resting on a bench opposite a memorial to a man from the village who'd won a VC at the Charge of the Light Brigade, and it turned out that I was just outside Tamworth. I plotted a course back to the planned route. Although I'd added a few miles to my ride, I decided to go all the way to Abbots Bromley anyway as there's a useful village shop there. Stopped at a bench there to eat a large baguette and a cheese and onion slice, and bought a suspiciously cheap Happy Shopper 'energy drink' (39p) which seemed to be the most suitable choice to replenish the bidon.

I came back a slightly quicker way.

The knees started to give a bit of trauma on the way back, after 40 miles or so, but nothing too aggravating. It probably wasn't a good idea to do the Fondo. I may have set my recovery back a few days. But actually they don't feel too bad this morning. I'm happy to have got the Fondo in, anyway. Still got the set (Jan - May).

My impression is that low intensity rides of 20 miles or so are probably beneficial but I won't go much over that for the rest of the month.

I wore a long sleeved top under a jersey with shorts, and was a bit too cold the whole way round. It started to rain about 30 minutes after I got back, so good timing.

Not sure why I don't head westwards more often for a long ride. For some reason I feel a bit out of my comfort zone west of the M42. I suppose it's familiarity, or a psychological / territorial thing.

Anyway - 69.19, 177 this month, 1381 this year. Still ahead of last year (1249 on 13th May). But looking at the rest of the record for May 2017, I don't think that will last long.



Did a medium/short Twycross after work, 24.13 miles. I took the Cannondale as the X has not been relubed since I hosed out the chain with GT-85 at the weekend. Whoosh! Just for a bit of fun and because the bike seems to egg you on I put my foot down. Which sort of defeats the object of the "low intensity cycling" I'd intended but I think I got away with it. Got round in 1 hr 40, which must be a record for that particular version of the Twycross route.

Sunny but cool. Beautiful along the long stretch down to Twycross, the late afternoon sun really enhances the experience.

Checked my time for the segment between Snarestone and Twycross and it does seem to be a personal best, although for some reason Strava doesn't show any "achievements" against that activity. It can be a bit counter-intuitive sometimes.

Legs feel like they have boatloads of power in them at the moment, but the knees are still a bit fragile. Quite a frustrating combination.


Lubricated the X at lunch time. Cleaned out the chain on Cannondale (sort of. I hosed it with GT85).

So I took the X out after work. Did a Twycross, intended to do 20 or so but did about 25.  Elongated the route at the top but shortened it at the bottom, for variety. Bright, but quite cool out there.

Knees felt OK, a bit of achy soreness in the right one and I can feel it a bit now. I hope it's all better in a couple of weeks.

A neighbour's dog followed me right into the garage and started staring at me as if I'd stolen its ball or something. Odd.