Cycling - 2

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

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With today being a Bank Holiday, I thought I'd take the opportunity to change the tyres on my Summer bike. But after watching YouTube videos of people struggling to remove - and install - tubeless tyres I thought better of it. Heck, if I look closely enough, one of the tyre wear markers is still visible on the rear tyre. They've only done 4,500 miles as well. Should last until the next Bank Holiday...

The old legs were feeling a touch weary today, but with the midweek weather not looking too good I thought I'd try and get 40 miles in, which I did, despite this afternoon's forecast not being too good, but apart from a few drops in Coal Aston it remained dry and the sun came out :)

I couldn't believe it was a Bank Holiday though, I only saw a cyclist three times - the same bloke - and where roads are normally snarled with parked cars out in the Peak District,  there were barely any. The weather forecast must have put people off. Lightweights. Managed to get 1,000 metres of climbing in too, so I'm 62% of the way to May's Strava challenge already!

Worst bit of the day was being hit in the face by a bumblebee when descending at 40+ mph, the buggers come keen. Didn't see much birdlife today, but a Google search revealed that I should have known it was a Charm of Goldfinches.

Legend in my own Mind


Glad I didn't set out to go to High Bradfield as I'd planned. I'd have ended up truly hypothermic instead of just borderline. How that forecast can have been for light rain I don't know. It had all been so nice for the first 55 minutes, then in Wingerworth the roads turned to rivers. Then up on the tops it was as dry as a bone. Back down and it was wet again. Half way back to the tops dry. On Beeley Moor wet. East Moor dry. Cutthorpe rainy but not as bad as it looked elsewhere. Newbold Road it chucked it down from an almost cloud free sky. By this time I was wet and shivery. The battery had gone in my cadence sensor and the rain had stopped the barometric altimeter working.
Because of altimeter malfunction I'd no idea if I was hitting my 80+ feet a mile elevation gain target, so I put in 5 ascents of the Mur de Paxton Road. I needn't have bothered as I'd been bang on target. My legs would have thanked me as cold legs don't climb well.
Looks like I picked the wrong day to clean and lube the chain. Here's hoping for a drier tomorrow.

I did see a Skylark today up on the tops. A descending one, down to a fencepost.
Legend in my own Mind


The usual 20 or so miles today, weather was clear and sunny with a chill wind. As I was just taking my bike from the garage a Swallow flew in, had a quick look around and flew out again.
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


I wanted to do 36 or so today. Lovely sunny day for it, and I set off on the Cannondale at about 12:50. Decided I'd do the first 18 miles or so of the new lower-elevation route I've devised to Northamptonshire, then the same 18 miles back.

Cooler than I expected when I set off in bare legs, but I had two long sleeve layers on on top, and soon warmed up in the May sunshine. Once again I had the eTrex to assist with navigation. What a luxury that would have seemed 20 years ago; a handlebar-mounted electronic map that pinpoints your position and gives you distance done and distance to go. I prefer it to using a phone as the LCD screen is very readable in strong sunlight and the AA batteries last for many hours.

Had to contend with clouds of greenfly near Desford - my jersey was covered with the little buggers by the time I'd emerged from it. And I saw some kind of small stoat creature crossing the road rapidly about 20 metres in front of me, near Thurlaston. It seemed to have an improbably bulbous head, but in retrospect perhaps it was carrying something it had just killed? That was the only wildlife of note on this trip, anyway.

The plan was to take a small detour at the bottom end of the ride, to a village called Stoney Stanton. I was curious to see it because it featured briefly on a programme from 1972 that I happened to watch a couple of weeks ago, a sort of travelogue following a car journey from London to Manchester using an A road route.

So I took a right along a road called Watery Gate Lane, but half a mile later was met by a rather impassable ford. So I turned back the way I'd come and back onto the main route. I briefly considered navigating to Stoney Stanton a different way, but in conjunction with the pointless mile I'd just done, this would have added 4 or 5 miles and I wasn't comfortable doing that many at this stage. I settled for a village called Croft instead, where I spent a happy ten minutes lounging on a bench in the sun.

Took a brief detour along Kirkby Lane on the way back, partly because I needed a surreptitious and quiet spot for a wee - but also because I wanted to add a mile or so, as at that point it looked like I'd be back home on about 35 - and I'm doing my best to extend my distances by 2 miles a week.

As I visited the contents of my bladder onto a clump of nettles, 5 Live reported that Brighton had gone one up on City - which promised to make the remaining football coverage a bit more interesting, but not for long. By the time I had mounted my bike again City had equalised, and three or four miles further up the road, they were in front.

My knees held up pretty well - a bit sore now as expected but the only time I felt any trauma or pain was when pushing up a brief but steep hill approaching Desford. Encouraging, for now anyway. I'm assuming I'll get MRI results in the next week or two.

36.09, 106 done this month. I still have 176 to do to meet this month's target, but the weather looks good for a few days.


After yesterday's drenching, the weather was much kinder today. Sunny and not too warm, so I managed to fit in the Fondo I didn't manage yesterday. I shouldn't really have, as I was late out and said I'd be back by six thirty, but the weather was nice and I'd only have been about seven miles off so I stayed out longer. It only added another 20 minutes to the ride.

I managed to cycle up a few roads I'd only ever been down before today, and down roads I'd only ever been up, and even at well gobe four o'clock, I was surprised by the amount of cyclists riding out of Sheffield - but that is the best way to be going. You could tell it was a nice day as the Thai Street Food Van was parked up on the road in the middle of nowhere at the top of Stanage. I should really have stopped and taken some pics as the air was very clear today with commensurate good views, but I'm born to ride!

Had words with a driver on the way home. He close passed me in a 30 limit when I was doing 30. He then tailgated the cars in front of him. Looking back on Strava, I had to get up to 36mph to make sure he didn't get out of the end of the road before I got there. Apparently he had to do it because I was riding in the middle of the road . Well yes, because otherwise I'd have slammed into cars parked at the side of the road and then I kept there to make sure I was riding in the primary position to try and stop people making dangerous overtakes. I suggested he have a read of the Highway Code, I think he suggested I FOAD.

Got me over 2,000 miles for the year now and to 329 for May, with the Strava Climbing challenge completed.
Legend in my own Mind


Pulled my thigh sprinting (on foot) Friday before last and now I'm limited to walking.

I think that jogging is better for my general health. Since I started in March my resting heart rate dropped from mid sixties to sixty ( due to the enforced rest it is now going up again) but cycling is less likely to produce injury.

I want to continue to do both so its frustrating being able to do neither. Love cycling in May too and to have missed out on such a lovely weekend just gone is very annoying.

I could be back out for a gentle spin next weekend if I dont feel much of a twinge between now and then.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!


Sorry to hear that Dom. I've never given much thought to my heart rate, and have never measured it. I do have a heart rate monitor strap that connects to one of my Garmin watches, maybe I should give it a go.


Quote from: Slim on May 13, 2019, 12:50:51 pm
Sorry to hear that Dom. I've never given much thought to my heart rate, and have never measured it. I do have a heart rate monitor strap that connects to one of my Garmin watches, maybe I should give it a go.

Thanks.  I have a fitbit; its great for monitoring your max heart rate as you plough up a hill and to see the effects of exercise (or lack of) on your base rate over a period of time
You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!


My resting heart rate is low 50s these days.
Yesterday on a 60 mile hilly ride, it averaged 130, on a similar ride back in April it averaged 138. I suppose I'm getting fitter. My average speed was up from back in April, but that's probably because I was on the good bike.
The reduction in Heart Rate suggests I should be able to ride even more quickly, but I think my old legs are the limiting factor now.
Legend in my own Mind


Thought I'd do 15 after work to see how I'd cope with a shortish ride without taking a day off. I intended to do the first seven of the ride I did yesterday, then the same seven back. Nice enough weather but unfortunately those first few miles are a bit urban in that direction, and I had rush hour traffic to contend with. It was a bit blowy as well.

I did get knee pain from the off but nothing serious, and they coped OK.

Anyway once I reached the 7 mile point I decided I wasn't coming back the same way, so I took what I thought was a detour but in fact ended up being a slight shortcut. Certainly more pleasant though, for the couple of miles until I was back on the same track then it was back to the dust and traffic.

Not much fun really, and to cap it all the bike seemed to start handling a bit funny a few hundred metres from home. I weaved left and right a bit to test the steering and sure enough it had gone slightly anarchic. Closer inspection revealed that I had a front puncture. So I hoisted the bike to shoulder height and clogged home in cleats, taking a short cut across the village green.

Could have been worse! Gave the front wheel a few revolutions under careful scrutiny and it's still spinning true, so I don't think running on a flat for whatever distance has done it any harm. The road didn't even feel particularly rough, funnily enough.

Anyway - a tragically truncated 14.52 miles. 15 miles is the arbitrary point at which I excuse myself rowing machine duties, so that's unfortunate.


A sunny summer's day with nary a waft of wind - so since I had an opportunity to leave work early, I took it - with the aim of doing 37 miles or so.

I'd spent an improper proportion of the day when I should have been working devising a 37 mile route on the Strava route planner, though none I came up with seemed particularly desirable. I thought of extending the 35 mile longish Twycross that goes through Witherley, but couldn't think of a pleasing way to do that.

Then a light bulb went on in my head. Why not do the Twycross, but after exactly half the distance I wanted, just stop and come back the other way?

This had three distinct advantages.

  • I'd get to visit my favourite secluded wee spot twice

  • I could get my distance to the exact requirement in a predictable manner

  • I'd get to do the really flat stretch near Witherley twice

I also thought it would be fun to do, and a bit different.

So I did that; an experimental non-circular Twycross.  I dressed in light gear, took it easy, soaked up the summer sunshine and the Leicestershire countryside ambience, and had a marvellous time. Although I'd replaced the front inner on the Planet X yesterday, I took the Cannondale. I never quite trust a new inner tube (I'm the same with gear cables and cleats) and didn't want a lovely afternoon marred by another flat.

I actually stopped after 18.7 miles, rather than the 18.5 I'd intended. At the 18.5 point I was freewheeling down a gentle incline so I thought I might as well soak up a bit more distance while it was free, albeit I'd have to pedal a bit further on the way back.

Doing a familiar route in reverse can be disorienting and the southern end of this one isn't that familiar, so I thought I'd probably have to consult a map. But I didn't. The challenge of remembering the way back (Until the turn for Sheepy, easy after that) put a fun spin on my ride. I have done a reverse Twycross before and I'd forgotten how much easier it is to go from Twycross - Snarestone rather than the other way round. It's all very gently downhill.

Really had a lovely time and my knees did really well. I'd love to be able to write one of these without repeatedly referring to the joints between my thighs and lower legs, but apparently I can't.

I also had a nice view of the Moon in a blue sky. Always cheers me up for some reason, the Moon and Sun being out at the same time. I don't know why.

37.65 which takes me well over half of May's target with half the month left, so that's good. I shall definitely do this one again. It's very easy to extend as well as I increase my distances, by pushing further along Fenn Lanes before turning back. And the Atterton Lane bit is very quiet and pleasant.

What a luxury it seems to be able to go out for hours after work, and be back while it's still broad daylight. I must say though, the longer days seem to have come round very fast this year. I'm reminded of Rod Stewart's wise words that life is a bit like a toilet roll - it runs out really quickly when you get nearer the end.

In other news: noticed that the stem bolts on the Boardman are showing a bit of rust so I bought some new titanium ones. But they're so nice looking that I think I'll put them on the Cannondale, and the Boardman can get the Cannondale's hand-me-downs.

Oh yes, and while playing with the route planner I found a promising 18 mile stretch of road that's pretty flat, SW of Derby. Might be worth doing a few lengths of that as a proof of concept for a flat Fondo in Norfolk.


Velo Birmingham was better this year, apart from the guy getting killed in a crash

100 miles, 5 hours and 9 mins, decent roads, lot of cyclists!
The new songs are an abomination


Managed to get 70 miles in on my evening rides this week. Awful roads. A few cyclists. Too much sun tonight.
Managed to set a PR on a categorised uphill segment on each of my three rides this week, which was nice :)
Legend in my own Mind


Another early exit from work, hadn't thought much about where to go so I thought I'd just do the same reverse Twycross again. Much cooler today, cloudy and a little breezy. I wrapped up warmish with leggings on and three layers of jersey. It rained this morning and I thought there might be the odd puddle (there wasn't) so I took the Boardman.

Quite enjoyable. But as I neared the turning point along Fenn Lanes, I decided to keep on keeping on and just go round the usual, mostly circular route. I extended it a mile or two by taking the Newton Burgoland / Swepstone route into Heather, rather than along Newton Road.

I forgot to bring the bike computer out of the house and was using a phone in my pocket to record the track, so I wasn't sure how many miles I'd done as I arrived back at the garage. 34.79, a bit less than the 37 I'd intended but I was on a heavier bike, and in heavier clothing. So that'll do.

Noticed as I pedalled along Fenn Lanes that a field on my right had about 12 light aircraft in it, including some brightly coloured biplanes, all visible through the trees and hedgerow at the side of the road. Google Maps tells me this is "Stoke Golding Airfield". I've certainly never seen an aircraft take off or land there. Must be some sort of event happening there, in fact yep - just Googled it, and it's the "Midland Air Festival".

My knees were a wee bit tender but they didn't suffer on the climbs. I think 36 or 37 is my limit for now.

Also, I hadn't been through Newton Burgoland for a while. It's been spruced up with some new signage on smart wooden posts, but a pub there that I'm fond of, the Belper Arms, looked to be closed for some reason - the car park was empty at 7:25.

Anyway. That's me on 193 miles this month and 89 to do before June to reach my target.


Managed to get in a Fondo today, but didn't stray too far from home. Mrs S's elderly aunt is in hospital following a suspected stroke. Don't know why I thought it better to stay closeish to home, but you never know.
Dull weather, which was nice, just warm enough, but a bit nippy on the descents, but hey, the ascents warm you back up again. And there was plenty of ascending - for me - as I've only once done more in a ride. The aim of 100 miles of elevation gain in the year is looking a very distant prospect still...
Legend in my own Mind